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There are things that both fascinate and scare the crap out of me at the same time. Like sharks. I could watch hours and hours of shows about all kinds of sharks and never get bored. They should do a marathon like that on tv! Oh wait...shark week.

Let me qualify that: they should do a marathon like that on non-cable tv! I'm devastated that for the second year in a row if I want to experience shark week I have to mooch cable off of my brother and hang out his roommates, surrounded by beer cans and pizza boxes. So, when I was at Half Price Books the other day and saw a national geographic four disc set on sharks for $7 I was pumped.

This shark fascination isn't a fad for me. When I was little I didn't have monsters in my closet; I had sharks under my bed. To avoid the sharks I had to jump from my bed over the rug to the hardwood floor because they lived in the carpet. Duh. Even though I knew there weren't any sharks living in the Peterson's pool across the street I still freaked myself out every time I jumped into the deep end. Basically they scare the bejeezus out of me but at the same time I'm sort of obsessed.

It's kind of like Ebbie: she freaks out if she thinks she is going to get wet but is hypnotized with any form of running water. Maybe they should do a water week on Discovery Channel, too. I know my cat would watch. (If we had cable.)

(Comic from the lovely Natalie Dee)



That's what I am right now.

Have fun things to post...just don't have the time. Soon, kids. Very soon!
(Pic from Google Images)


Where did Minnetonka go?

When I saw this ad on Endless I had to ask myself...

...if it has just arrived, then where did Minnetonka go? Because as far as I know, it has been about 15 miles outside of St. Paul, MN for my entire life. Probably longer but you'd have to ask someone older than me about that.


We went out last night.

Actually we went out Saturday night but driving home from the cabin exhausted and headachey yesterday afternoon we heard this song and it was absolutely perfect.

Elissa and I walked into town, grabbed dinner at Coach's Corner, met some locals, went to the Deerstand (which used to be a church. but now it's a bar.) and ended up at a dance 15 miles down the road (no. we didn't walk.) he band was surprisingly good and almost made up for the ridiculous $10 cover charge (yeah, a cover charge in the woods. bizarre.) We danced for three hours to covers of everything from "Country Rose" to Jason Mraz and closed the place down.

It's hard to say when we laughed more: when we were actually out or the next day when we were remembering everything we did while we were out. Somehow I think if I wrote about every story the night would lose a little bit of it's sparkle so I'm just going to leave it at this: I cannot say the last time I had so much fun.

We definitely went out that night.


See potential

I'm a very hopeful person. When I meet someone or am presented with a new situation I see the possibilities. Usually within moments of being introduced to someone new my mind has flown through years of experiences, opportunities, future memories; ways they could become part of my life and be my friend. More often than not what I imagine never comes true and my ideas of what could be turn into written stories instead of lived realities.

A friend once told me that if you don't expect anything of a person that everything they do will exceed your expectations. To me that way of seeing people is lacking so much. It assumes failure without only a small allowance for success. I find that if you expect more of someone, most often they step up and rise to your expectations. To paraphrase Jean Mouroux, "Do not love man for who he is; love him as the man God created him to be." Living that way has often left me crushed and disappointed but I wouldn't have it any other way. It is worth it for the times that the chances I've taken end up bringing amazing people into my life.

See potential. Hope for the opportunity of memories; even if they never happen, it is worth smiling through the dreams.


How to...

Yesterday Sketti (aka Sara) sent me an email that said:

I just typed "how to" into a google search (I hadn't yet finished typing the rest of my search), and the auto drop-down choices had these, in this order:

how to kiss
how to get pregnant
how to lose weight

It made me curious what else might pop up with some very open, unfinished questions. Rounding out the "who, what, when, where, how," here are my favorites:

who is my congressman
who is robert pattison dating
who is on the dime

what to do when you're bored
what to give up for lent
what to do in las vegas

when to use a semi colon
when to plant
when to work

where to buy gold
where to get a passport
where to find acai berries

why to go green
why torture is wrong
why to become a teacher


Rain rain, you can stay

I'm going to fire my alarm clock and hire the rain to wake me up every morning.

(Photo: Google Images)


Twitter is the new helium balloon.

This conversation last week at Matt's apartment...

@sidenotecal: I have to warn you, I'm a little crabby so I'm sorry if I'm not very good company.
@confusador: It's ok. Rough day at work, huh?
@sidenotecal: Woah...yes! How did you know that I had a bad day at work?
@confusador: Um, you posted it on Twitter...
@sidenotecal: Oh, right. I thought maybe you were psychic.

...reminded me of my 5th birthday. Dad took me on a trip to California and as I walked through the airport carrying my helium birthday balloon and wearing my "Going to Grandma's" backpack, strangers kept stopping to wish me a happy birthday...

5 year old me: Daddy, how does everyone know that it's my birthday?
Daddy: I called ahead and told everyone it is your special day.
5 year old me: Woah...

Pretty sure I had the exact same look of wonder and awe on my face during both conversations. Twitter is the new helium balloon.


...and I don't mean the Upper East Side kind. No, I mean the icky, nasty, buzzing, stinging, egg-laying kind. The kind that has decided to build a nest on my front overhang. Ebbie was fREAking out at the front door when I got back from up north and when I went to check it out I saw it: a papery oval hanging over my steps.

I had to bide my time until sunset to shoot those mother truckers with my Hot Shot wasp and bee killer (Up To A 27 Foot Jet Spray!) but I doused 'em good. Ebs and I stood inside the screen door after my covert assassination mission (of course I wore several layers of gear) and watched as a few wasps returned to the hive, landed, and immediately keeled over. They gave me the heeBEEjeeBEEs (get it? bees? yeah...) and all night I had creepy dreams about the eggs hatching and crawling through mysterious cracks in my house to get me.

They should all be dead by this morning but I left a note for the mailman, just in case.


Thinking of Jakarta

I had a post all ready to be automatically published this morning but decided to pull it and instead send you over to Andhari's blog. She is a lovely girl from Indonesia that I met through the blogging world who always comments on my posts (which makes me feel very loved) and she had some thoughts to share about the bombings in her town of Jakarta.

"Writing about this already made me very depressed.
And angry. Angry to know after a couple of years of calmness and stability post Bali and Australian Embassy bombing, this problem is floating to the surface again. Angry for the travel warning that several countries have given to us again. Angry for the city and country that I love stained once again in the world."

Her uncle and cousins work at the Ritz Carlton but luckily are safe because they got stuck in traffic and were late to work. Her uncle's assistant wasn't so lucky and is currently unconscious at the Jakarta hospital. Next time you're getting road rage on the freeway because of a jam take a deep breath and know that there might be a very good reason you're stuck on the road.
Thoughts and prayers to those affected by the bombings...


Grocery doubles

There are some things that I always buy when I go to the grocery store. I don't necessarily buy them because I need them; I just think that I need them. Even if I check the cupboards and make a list there are a few items that yell to me when I see them while shopping and they say, "You are out of me! Buy me or you'll regret it!"

I currently have two 24 packs of toilet paper, three jars of peanut butter, three jars of strawberry preserves (all Archer Farms brand), five cans of re-fried beans, four jars of salsa and too many rolls of paper towels to count. Oh and I have two boxes each of Cheerios, Rice Krispies and Raisin Bran.

When will I learn?


Still missing you

It has already been a year. We miss you, Grandpa!
(Reposting from July 2008)

Grandpa John knew every good jazz bar in Ventura County. He also had just about every radio station in town on speed dial because when they used to do trivia contests, he would be the first to call in with the answer and win radios, concert tickets, flashlights, or whatever other treasure they were giving away. Before the internet, Grandpa was my Google.
It always seemed to me that he had been pretty much everywhere during his travels, especially when he came to my gradeschool show and tell with a map and pointed out the stops on his latest around the world tour. That day he made me the coolest kid in class.
In the top drawer under the kitchen TV he kept a book with movie reviews in it so he could decide which ones to tape on one of his 8 VCRs. I think I inherited my feeling of always missing something important on another channel while watching one show from him.
Driving with Grandpa John was always nerve wracking because he refused to use his blinkers in order to avoid burning out the light bulbs. It made rides to and from LAX quite the adventures.

Cleaning out the basement after he passed away, we found things that just made us smile and shake our head, so typical Grandpa: an entire closet full of boxes with reciepts taped to each one, just in case something ever needed to be returned; plastic bottles of "Military Special Vodka" from the army base stashed in bookshelves so Gma wouldn't tsk tsk him; a false book with a compartment inside to keep secret things, like coins and hair combs.

About five years ago Grandpa wrote an autobiography titled, "Call me Lucky." In it he talks about how he accomplished everything he wanted to during his lifetime. Not everyone can say that. By no means was he perfect, but I think we were the lucky ones to have him around as long as we did.

We miss you, Gramps. Bon voyage.

John McClair Cowart
Dec. 3, 1922-July 15, 2008


70 Things To Do Before Having Children

According to this list on, I still have a few of these to do before having kids and even though there are a few I don't ever want to check off my list but overall I think I'm doing pretty well!

2. Take a month long vacation on the opposite side of the world in a city with a completely different culture. (Thailand for a month!)
6. Swim with the sharks. (Do stingrays count? Cause if so I totally did that.)

9. Throw the house party of all house parties. Supply all the booze and invite everyone you know. (Luau at my house!)
12. Become skilled with a musical instrument. (Piano, flute and piccolo. BOOYA.)
14. Live in the heart of New York City, Chicago, Boston or another major city for at least a year. (St. Paul and Madrid.)

16. Surf a Hawaiian wave. (I got my ass kicked by a wave on Seal Beach this year. Same ocean at least!)
17. Learn to speak a foreign language. (Spanish. I never mastered Pig Latin.)
20. Read at least 30 books.

21. Jump off a cliff into a natural body of water in an exotic location. (Cliff jumping in the Guadalquivir canyon, Spain.)
22. Go mountain climbing. (I kicked that mountain's ass in Andalucia.)
24. Go horseback riding on the beach.
25. Drink warm beer out of a barrel in a real Irish pub. (Brazen Head, Dublin.)
36. Master one particular style of dance.
37. Fall in love.
39. Drive through a (somewhat safe) portion of a third world country like Mexico or Costa Rica to gain perspective on what true poverty looks like.

40. Go skinny dipping in a large body of water at midnight.(Picture mere minutes at the Med Sea before I said, "Let's go skinny dipping," and everyone else said, "Ok!")
42. Decide on your current life goals and write them down.

44. Go on a blind date (or a couple’s dinner date with new friends you hardly know).

52. Switch jobs until you find one you truly enjoy.
53. Buy your first house.58. Learn to make one mixed cocktail like a pro bartender.
(Well since I was a bartender for 3 years I think that's a "check.")

60. Stand up in front of a large audience and tell a great joke.
61. Shoot a gun.
64. Learn to sail a sailboat.
69. Master a few fancy dinner recipes.
70. Finish up your formal education (but continue learning.)
(Cum Laude!)


Water waster

Last night I turned the sprinkler on and had every intention of turning it off after 15 minutes. Six hours later when I got woken up in the middle of the night but a certain little scamp-cat I thought it was raining. Then I remembered the sprinkler. The logical thing to do would have been going outside and turning the spigot off since it is right next to the back door but I got too scared of the dark to go outside and just went back to bed instead. Pretty sure 12 hours of watering won't hurt my lawn...just my water bill.
(Pic from Google Images and yes, that is a Toro sprinkler. Dad would be proud.)


Camrose Hill = heaven

Two years ago before Sister got married (congrats on your anniversary this week, btw!) she had a bridal shower at a gorgeous hotel next to the beach.

I didn't think anything could rival it but Kala's shower last night came close. It was at Camrose Hill in Stillwater and everything about the whole night was drop dead gorgeous. I mean really, who wouldn't love a shower that ended with roasting caramel marshmallows for s'mores using ghiradelli chocolate squares? Mmm. (Sorry for the blurry pics, my camera died and I had to use my phone.)



What's that you say? You want another bug story? OK!
Starting at age 3, I was obsessed with worms. It's hard to say if it started with gummy worm candies and then spread to earthworms or vice versa but either way, it happened. When Dad came home from his weekly business trips he would have a bag of gummy worms hidden away in his carry-on for me. Mud pie making always occurred with the utmost care to avoid chopping any of the squiggly guys in half with my plastic shovel.

It shouldn't have been a surprise when instead of having a princess party for my fourth birthday I wanted to have a worm party, or as I pronounced it a "wu-m pa-ty;" pronouncing 'r's was not my strength. Mom pulled it off, cooking a mud cake with gummy worms all over it and creating homemade worm decorations (no party supply company carried any.)

When kindergarten rolled around I found out how fun it was to wait for the bus in the rain because all of the worms came out onto the driveway. One by one I would pick them up and place then back on the grass so no one would run them over. My responsibility of Worm Rescuer ended when I got my drivers license but to this day I still stop to throw a few back on the dirt after a storm.

In middle school we had to dissect earthworms and even though Miss. Moriarty the science teacher insisted that if we cut them cleanly into two parts they would still live because of their multiple hearts, I couldn't bring myself to do it. My lab partner had to slice mine for me.

I'm not sure if earthworms really count as bugs but they are one of the two kinds of creepy crawlies that I actually like so for today, they're legit.

Anyone want to have a wu-m pa-ty?
(Photo from Google Images)


Skeeters: The Minnesota State Bird

This is unintentionally turning into a week about bugs. Yesterday: spiders. Today: mosquitoes. (Sidenote: I just noticed that the plural for mosquito has an "es" not an "s." Learn something new every day. And in case you want to learn something new: the word mosquito comes from the Portuguese for "small fly." Personally I think it should come from whatever word in Portuguese means "disgusting bug that sucks blood and causes immense itching and buzzes in your ear at night and should die and never come back." But that's just me. Lesson over.)

In Minnesota we love love love our cabins. But I hate hate hate mosquitoes. Unfortunately, the two pretty much go hand in hand since most cabins (including ours) are next to lakes and mosquitoes are born in water. Sweet. See, when I get bitten by a mosquito I don't get a little dot like most people. Noooooo...I get a giant pink welt at least the size of one of those Sacagawea dollar coins that no one ever knows what to do with when they get them as change from a vending machine. Right now I have 7 on my right leg and none on my left so it kind of looks like I dipped one side of my body in a vat of poison ivy but forgot to even it out and do the rest.

An old boyfriend of mine used to tell me that when he went to their cabin his grandpa would sit outside, drinking and smoking, for hours and never got one mosquito bite. He asked him once why they never bothered him and he said, "Well, they know if they bit me they'd die of alcohol poisoning from all the booze in my blood and that's reason enough to stay away."

My dad used to tell me I got bitten so much because I was so sweet. Maybe I should just drink when I plan on being outside...


8 Crispy Legs

Spiders and I don't get along. They tend to get in places where they shouldn't and scar me for life. When I was about 9 my mom made raspberry smoothies at the lake and it wasn't until I had almost finished mine that one of the surprisingly large "seeds" sprouted legs and crawled out of my glass. That was the last time I had a raspberry smoothie.

Friday I had another run in, this time in the bathroom instead of the kitchen. I picked up my hair dryer and went to put the diffuser attachment on the end of it (here's a pic link for all those who thought a diffuser was a solely a breathing distributes the hot air flow to help make curly hair less frizzy). So, I looked down at the nozzle and thought, "What is that brown thing sticking out? A clump of hair? A dust bunny?" No, it was a spider. A big spider. I gagged, dropped the hair dryer and ran into the hall and jumped around squealing. It's really too bad Ebs was the only one around to see my mini tantrum. It was impressive. Finally I went back and slowly picked up the hair dryer. The spider was too big to shake out between the slats so I grabbed a bobby pin and went to push it through and I believe that is the exact moment when I was scarred for life. Why?
It was crispy.
The spider. Was. Crispy.
It crunched.
Crispy Crunched.
I had fried it to a crisp crunch with the heat from drying my hair. Which means it was in there, while I was drying my hair.

Please note that the picture I took to prove this really happened is blurry because I was so freaked out I couldn't hold my phone still enough to get a decent photo. And for this I will not apologize because really? You would have been just as disgusted.


Happy 4th of July weekend!

I'll be here if you need me...


Coffee table plea

Last summer Mykala and I went on an adventure to a thrift store in a not-so-nice area of town on a mission: find a new coffee table. Mine was $3 at a garage sale and is a piece of crap but has done a good job of holding my candles, computer, and even feet (the benefit of crappy furniture is it doesn't matter if people put their shoes on it!)

We found a nice one that had three glass sections on the top and pretty wood for under $20. Score! Except that we didn't realize the glass sections weren't attached and they shattered as we put the table into the trunk of my car. Some very scary came over to see what in the world we were doing breaking glass in their parking lot. They proceeded to stand behind my car and signaled us like airplane controllers on how to back out to avoid the glass.

Fast forward a year and I still haven't gotten the glass replaced on the table and it has been living in my garage this whole time. Pricing it out I think it makes more sense to just buy a new (old) one off craigslist or something so during lunch I started looking. And that's when I found this:

I'm not sure what selling a coffee table and going to the Mall of America have to do with one another but I sure hope someone can help her out. Before 3:00. For her grandson's sake.
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