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The time Katie Couric came to town

Last weekend I got leftover tickets to an event and the keynote speaker was Katie Couric. Elissa and I went with no expectations because really? Katie Couric? How inspirational could she be?

Turns out...VERY. And funny, too! I was laughing so hard at the beginning of her talk there were tears streaming down my face. She had clearly done her Minnesota research because she started out her speech referencing the college party bar on campus, Sally's. "It's spring in Minnesota and thank goodness because that means the patio Sally's at  is open and who doesn't love throwing back $1 rail drinks at Sally's under the stars?" She talked about the Twin's new Target Field and the Gopher's TCF Bank Stadium, managing to throw in a little jab at our long time rivals the University of Wisconsin Badgers, "UW Madison was my back up school."

There were a lot of things she told us that I didn't know about her. Her husband died of colon cancer at age 41 and her sister died five years later of another form of cancer. To raise awareness for colorectal cancer she did a colonoscopy on air which resulted in what researchers in Michigan are calling, "The Couric Effect;" a 20% rise in colon cancer screenings nationwide. She called this the greatest accomplishment of her life.

As a single mother with two daughters, ages 1 and 5, she continued her on site reporting of everything from 9/11 to the 35W bridge collapse here in Minnesota, the Olympics to the earthquake in Haiti. After the speech she did a question and answer portion and seemed very down to earth and family focused. Overall, both Elissa and I were pleasantly surprised at how entertaining and interesting she was.

But the highlight of the night came when I texted my little brother her Sally's quote and he responded, "You're at Sally's? Who is Katie Couric?"

Really? REALLY?!? He claims he knows someone with a similar last name and thought I had run into her at the bar. Suuuuuure...

Oh and Katie (yes, we're on a first name basis since she stopped by the table next to ours and was close enough that I could have hit her with a spitball if I had tried) is on Twitter, too. We tweeted her, asking if she wanted to join us for a drink at Sal's next time she's in town. No response. Bummer.

*Disclaimer: This picture is awful but we were in a dark hockey arena and I used my cell phone.


Wordless Wednesday: MN Fashion Week


Caption my life

If I had give this week a caption it would say, "Hello, sick kitten. Goodbye, tax returns." Poor Ebbie hasn't been feeling well and after several trips to the vet we're still not sure what's wrong with her. She's weak, moving slowly, shaky and just off her game. She started on steroids today (we're really bonding over the whole shoving a pill down her throat every 12 hours thing) so hopefully she'll be back to her normal bouncy self asap.

Why am I boring you with details of my cat's health?

NO, not because I am a crazy cat lady...

It's because I'm all distracted and unbloggyish. Distracted how? Well, I accidentally tried to wash my hair with a can of hairspray instead of shampoo. I made a grocery list, went to Trader Joe's, got my food, and forgot about the list until after I checked out. (I didn't get the popcorn, among other things.) Oh and I have about 7.83 post drafts that I've started but can't finish because I keep losing my train of thought.

So, to avoid having to write anything coherent I'm going to jump on the Wordless Wednesday bandwagon for the first time tomorrow! Sal of Already Pretty makes an appearance. And I wear a hat that makes me look like I could be in Johnny Depp's version of "Alice in Wonderland." It's good stuff. Stop by and check it out.

And maybe sooooonish the kitten will feel better and all will go back to normal. Fingers crossed! Paws, too, of course.


Hungry...beautiful...same thing.

me:       i just ate some yogurt to pass the time
me:       i'm wasn't really even hungry

E:         I'm ravishing!
E:         or ... I'm ravished
E:         wait, doesn't that mean beautiful?
me:       yeah i think you meant "famished"
E:         hahah! 
E:         oops.

me:       that was awesome.


Portrait debut

Well, here it is. My new profile picture/avatar/portraity thingamabob for here and on Twitter ( @SidenoteCal ) The wonderful and talented Dave Puente took it and I love how it turned out. He told me to be serious and this is what he got...

Clearly I follow directions well.

I also reeeeeally like this one and could not for the life of me choose between them. So I asked two guys and two girls to vote. They unanimously picked the first photo which meant I was legally bound to go with that one. Something having to do with an electoral college or something. I don't know. Elections confuse me. Whatever, I still might switch to this one at some point because like I said...I reeeeeeally like it.

Anyway, Dave made the whole thing very painless and even though he is based here in the Twin Cities, he does travel for jobs so don't hesitate to contact him even if you're out of town!


Well hey there, Paul.

In honor of my little (ok fine he's half a foot taller than me) brother's first trip to Sidenote I'd like to post this F Minus comic by Tony Carillo for several reasons.
  1. We both think Discovery channel's Shark Week is the best week of the year.
  2. He's a pretty cool dude in his own right (aside from the prestige of being related to me) and if he worked on his lasso skills he could probably be a shark cowboy.
  3. It saves me the trouble of having to email it to him.

Welcome to Sidenote, Murmur!


Pretty pretty (pet) pictures!

Ever try to get the perfect picture of your pet and think, "This is absolutely impossible"? 

Ok full disclosure: I didn't take that amazing picture of Ebbie. See, I'm always failing miserably at catching Ebbie in the right light with just the right expression on her whiskers.That's why I got really excited when I found out my friend and brilliant photographer Dave Puente was offering FREE PET PORTRAIT SESSIONS! Yes, he is the one who took that great pic of Ms. Ebony Fifi Manolo.
To get signed up for your own session here's what you need to do:
  • Live in the Twin Cities area
  • Have a pet that you want photographed
  • Make a donation of ANY amount to Dave's team in the Animal Humane Society's "Walk for Animals"
Dave and his puppy Leo told me to tell you that no gift is too small so go ahead and click that link to get started. If you have questions feel free to contact him directly (fyi his site has music so hit mute if you're at work!)
Ebbie is quite pleased with her pictures and she definitely thinks you should make a donation, even if you don't have a pet to be photographed. We have a HUGE soft spot in our hearts for the AHS since they brought us together three years ago. Oh, and I'll let you in on a little secret...I had Dave take a few shots of me sans Ebs, too, for my new blog/twitter picture. Can't wait to show you how it turned out! Debut next week.

Dave Puente Photography is also available for professional headshots, engagements,weddings, pregnancy/baby/family portraits, name it!


Here goes nothing.

I don't know.
It's hard to be engaging or clever or sentimental or whatever.
I just feel all jumbled and mixed up.

If I can't even figure out my thoughts for myself how in the WORLD can I begin to write them out for the whole world to read?
Potentially the whole world.
Hypothetically potentially the whole world.

It'd just be one long ramble.
Or a bunch of babbling.
Then my mind starts whirling those two words around...ramble...babble...rambley babble...babbling ramble...
What's the difference?
Is there one?
Does it matter?
Why can't I stop thinking about the difference between ramble and babble?

It's because it keeps me from thinking about the big things.
The ones I can't get off my mind.
The things that can't be fixed, can't be sorted.
Kind of like the pile of laundry that won't get off my bedroom floor.
Even though if I want to wear underwear for the rest of the week I absolutely MUST sort it and get it off the floor.

Is that normal?
Do other people ever get to that point?
To this point?
I don't know.

(But I'm pretty sure that babbling is more nonsensical than rambling.)
(I think.)


Chore Scorecard

Four dwarf Alberta blue spruce planted in the backyard:                           
[x] WIN    [  ] FAIL
Massive allergic reaction on arms from planting dwarf Alberta blue spruce:
[  ] WIN    [x] FAIL

Massive organization and purging of cupboards:         
[x] WIN    [  ] FAIL
Impromptu game of angel hair pasta pick-up-sticks*: 
[  ] WIN    [x] FAIL

*If you've never tried angel hair pasta pick-up-sticks you really should. It'll be almost as much fun as all those times that one time your big sister conned you into playing 52 card pick-up. Trust me.


"Its just a little touch of sure takes its time"

"Three letters: a place where hope was found.
If this happened...well, maybe anything can."
-Jodi Picoult, House Rules

Lisa Mitchell - Neopolitan Dreams (Official Music Video) - Watch more top selected videos about: Lisa_Mitchell


Kids these days...

Visiting a family friend's house the other day I overheard this conversation between the mom and her 4 year old son:
"Toby, why are you drinking water out of a cream pitcher? You can use a real glass."
"Because, Mom, it feels so gooooooood."
Can't argue with that but I'm not sure that excuse will fly once he hits his teens so it's probably best he get some good use out of it now.

Then, my brother emailed me that he had just overheard this conversation in his college library. His subject line was, "Not even making this up..."
Kid 1: so what's genesis about (in a serious voice)
Kid 2: it's that fruit story....

Kids these days! I tell ya...


The wrong way to accept a gift from your pet.

"Look! Look! Look! I went hunting! Look what I caught for you!"
 "Ebbs, that's a toy. It has never been alive. You can't hunt toys."
"But...but...I did! And I caught it! I got it just for you..."
"Thank you, sweetheart, but you do know that I'm the one who bought it in the first place, right? You're really just regifting it."
"You don't appreciate anything I do for you."
"I'm sorry. I love it. Thank you."
"Too late. I'm over it."

*Disclaimer: I'm actually quite grateful when the scamp drags things to me, even when she drops them on my face in the middle of the night.



Remember me?
I live here.

So it has been a whirlwind three weeks including the Death Strep and a trip to California to see the Nugget but I'm back and I've missed you. That's right, YOU.

It looks like I was missed, too (at least at the office):

Here are a few tidbits until I get back into the swing of things.
  1. If you have a fever of 105 go to the doctor. Apparently that's close to brain boiling. No bueno. At least now I have an excuse when I have a blond moment. "It was The Death Strep fever..."
  2. Bringing an empty water bottle to fill up after airport security is brilliant. Bringing a leaky empty water bottle = not so brilliant.
  3. Traveling with your parents can be...challenging. Bring running shoes.
  4. Someone should open a Pinkberry-esque frozen yogurt shop in St. Paul. Someone could make a lot of money.  That someone should probably be me.
  5. Being an aunt can be a dirty job. Within 10 minutes I was spit up on and almost peed on (who knew such a tiny human had that kind of range?). Mike Rowe should probably do an episode of Dirty Jobs featuring me.
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