Sunday, November 26, 2006


After is my home

Something strange has happened to me both times I have lived here in the midwest. Both times, I have begun to identify more with the teams I grew up watching. Case in point last night, as I took pleasure in USC spanking Notre Dame. I didn't care much about USC the two years I lived in CA, but now I guess it is a way to still identify with the place where I grew up.

Having watched the Ohio State-Michigan game, defeating Ohio State would seem to be a tall order. Also, I will not watch the championship game, since that night is my anniversary. But in any case, I will cheer on USC, just like I was surprised to find myself doing last night!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Crunch time

I mean this almost literally. Last night, while attemting to move a rickety pallet, I lost a case of olive oil, and it did indeed fall to the floor and crunch. Olive oil is one of the worst things to try to clean up, but someone else did the clean up, while I continued to move pallets around.

This is TJ's thanksgiving week. Lots of business, too much extra product. But, it has all come upon us so quickly, that it is easy to forget that in two days, we will all be home for Thanksgiving, getting a single day reprieve from it all, before we head into the Christmas rush.

Every year it's the same-it's always a challenge, and it always is a bit if a relief when its behind us. But, there is fun to be found-we're all in it together.

And I still get to come home to the fam! How's that for a deal.

Saturday, November 11, 2006


Date Night Reviews

Well, this entry will be very different from recent ones. I will not discuss politics, baseball or the weather. The reasons for the different direction is that last night my wife and I did something different-we went on a date.

Yes indeed, with Steph's parents here, we decided to take an exotic journey to...the Mall of America. Our chief purpose in going to this bastion of consumerism was twofold: to eat, and to see a movie. Here's how those two things went.

When one enters the Twin Cities Grill, one is relieved to find that though one is still technically in the Mall of America, it does not seem so at all. This restaurant is owned by the Lettuce Entertain You restaurant empire, a name we know chiefly due to their fine restaurants in Chicago (one nation wide chain they started is Maggiano's Little Italy). There are a few things to note. Though the restaurant tries to evoke a Minnesota atmosphere (which it does quite well), it is clear that the designer of the restaurant was not from here. This was made clear to be as I passed a sign which read Minneapolis Facts, which went on to list facts about St. Paul. A local might have made the sign say, Twin Cities facts, but I digress. Anyhow, the bustling tone with pictures of ice fishing and all things Minnesota evoked a great tone. I had their specialty, the fried walleye with some killer mashed potatoes. I washed it down with an outstanding amber beer which had a maple flavor and was served to me ice cold. Stephanie took the opportunity to get a hamburger (since we dare not eat burgers near my daughter any more), which the waiter whisked away before my opportunity to try it had come. Though her salt and vinegar fries were outstanding. She, however, raved about the burger.

After leaving this restaurant very satisfied with our experience, we made our way back into the Mall. We walked across the amusement park at the mall, noting the presence of several holiday decorations (including a Polar Express train and a gingerbread house under construction). We made our way to the AMC movie theater to see the new Will Ferrel film, Stranger than Fiction.

I have not been so taken with a film in years. It is by no means perfect, but what I wouldn't give to see this kind of writing and these kinds of characters more often. The film's plot is too clever and too odd for me to explain it well. Suffice to say, Ferrel's character realizes he is the main character in a novel. He can hear the narrator speaking, and the narrator (third person omniscient) makes it known that he will die. The film has so much to say about so many things. First of all, it's very funny. But there is a touching love story, great satire about academia (a subject close to my heart), interesting plot twists, and it's filmed entirely on location in Chicago. I don't know how many other films released this year have been this good, since I don't make it to movies much. But if some movies have been this good, I have been missing some fine filmmaking.

Perhaps the rarity of our filmgoing and restauranting made it all seem better than it was. But I think not. Both the film and the restaurant were great, and the fact that I got to share the whole evening with my best friend made it all even better.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


I Don't Understand

If there's one thing I don't understand, it's people who are cocky for no reason.

Why was our president so cocky about victory yesterday? The polls clearly showed otherwise, and now he has lost at least one house of congress, and possibly both.

I'm not saying we should trust polls-what I don't understand is how anyone can play the cockiness game (one way or the other) when no votes have been counted.

I think it speaks to why this country voted essentially against Bush yesterday. The Democrats have nothing cohesive to offer, but Bush's manner is what people are voting against. That manner is best summed up in his insistence that the Republicans would win yesterday. I think that speaks volumes about the man. Yes, the language of politics is always assumption of victory for your side. But since Bush seems to never admit when he's wrong, it's hard to know what he believes and what's just political talk. I don't think he speaks political language. I think he really did think he was going to win yesterday. I think that's the problem with his presidency in a nutshell. But, that is also why he got elected. The people of this country voted for him because of his conviction, now they vote against him for the same reason. What a confused species the American is.

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