oh i had so much fun at our show last night. i thought it went really well even though we never got to all play it together. on monday brian played the drums and samples for me to write my parts, and he and i went over it once when i got home yesterday. naughty!

also i was really excited my family was there, and it was so much fun to be out in public for the first time since people know our news (or found out last night). boys came and whispered things like "congratulations sweetheart" in my ear and girls got all giddy and fun. so it's officially not a secret: the rings are having a baby! i even got kissed once on each cheek (from two different people) and got called little mama. i felt like a million bucks. the only dumb thing was i wanted to hang out with my family so i listened to low but i didn't stand where i could see. it was fun though because then i could tell them little stories about why i like this song or that one, or what happened to me one time when i was listening to that album, and then when people walked by to the bathroom i got to introduce them.

i left after low played because i wanted to get home and snuggle with my puppy. my dad gave us a boston terrier for christmas and he is the best puppy in the world. brian named him camus. he's just tiny! i get so bummed out every time i have to kennel him. he likes to follow us all over and he gets really mad when we leave the room, but he's learning to play by himself more. right now it's really hard to get anything done because he needs so much attention. i love his little puppy breath and i love how he likes to burrow his head under my arm to sleep.



i just learned a new trick.


look how i'm a cartoon! Posted by Hello


look at this baby! Posted by Hello


look what i can do! Posted by Hello



oh yeah, i got a can of coke from the vending machine yesterday, and it was a santa coke. my grandma (ruby elaine madsen, incase anyone wanted to know) gave me a case of santa coke every year for christmas.

brian gave me a cd last night that really sent me back to 10th grade. 1996 ruled.

i did not have the typical teenage experience, and from what i've heard of real highschool, i was damn lucky. i went to a religious boarding school and lived in a dorm, under strict-ass rules, with like 35 or 40 other girls. there was a boys dorm across campus, and a bunch of kids lived in town (they were call village students, like "why don't i ever see him at dinner?" "oh, he's village.").

everyone worked, except japanese kids who couldn't (and needed the time to learn english and study), and one or two super rich girls. the money went directly on people's school bills, because most kids' parents didn't have a lot of money. so, freshmen & juniors went to school in the morning and worked in the afternoon; sophomores & seniors did the opposite. some kids worked cleaning the dorms, in the cafeteria, grading for teachers, or in the office (the snotty girls). a lot more kids worked at a furniture place off campus, sanding or staining or whatever. they took a bus there - nobody could drive (had to turn in car keys to the dean) or work any other place off campus.

boys were allowed to walk to town mondays and wednesdays. girls had tuesdays and thursdays. we had to be back in the dorm by 7:45 every night for worship, where the dean would read a story and then we'd sing a few songs. basically after dinner you had to be in the gym, in town, or in the dorm. no wandering in the cornfield or anything - that's where kids would supposedly go to have sex or get drunk, but i never did. on sundays, a bus took us to the mall for two hours. how humiliating. it was fun though, to play at the arcade and eat taco bell. my dad gave me money for my report card, and $100 would last me the 2 or 3 months from one report card to the next because i never went anywhere or bought anything except on sundays. oh, and sometimes dairy queen or subway or a candy necklace on "town day" but only when it was nice out. i never bought clothes or music. my mom would buy me any book i wanted, and i got good christmas and birthday presents.

at first we could go any place we wanted to walk to on town day. then they figured out "bad kids" hang out in library square. people i wanted to hang out with from town were the hutchinson punk rockers. there were like 6 of them, and most of them were old. like, my age now. but other kids probably met up with their town friends and smoked pot there. it was a really great park. anyway, after they figured that out, the only places we were supposed to walk to were really lame. oh, but i was lucky because my two best friends were village girls. i went to tricia's for lunch (and playtime and naptime and driving around honking at boys) every saturday after church. her mom was the best cook. i got to go to andrea's a lot on sundays, and we'd listen to records and make art and go for walks. she and her dad would also take me with them some saturdays to art galleries in minneapolis. it was pretty crazy of both those families to just let me jump in there. they never locked their doors.

okay, so dorm life. like i said, we had to be in the dorm sunday through thursday by 7:45. at 8 we had "strict study hall" for an hour, meaning in your own dorm room and no noise. i was lucky enough to finagle a single room (no roommate) for about 2 1/2 years out of the 4. after 9 we could be in each others' rooms until lights out, which was 10, 10:30, or 11, depending what grade you were in. i mostly still stayed in my own room.

andrea and i would make tapes off radio k during lunch or on the weekends, since they broadcast during daylight only, and then i'd listen to them at night in my room. we would get only pieces of songs, and we rarely knew the band name or even song name unless it was super popular. i've figured out a few since then and got the records - the make up, beat happening, sleater kinney. those were my favorites. but then there was this one song i could never get out of my head, and i lost the tape or taped over it or andrea ended up with it.

then i heard it halloween 2001. i was standing on lindquist's porch because i was scared to go in. i thought he would be like "who the hell are you? get out." obviously i didn't know him at all. so i heard that song being played in the livingroom and almost flipped. luckily someone asked pat nelson what they were listening to in there. unluckily, i didn't hear his answer, and i was too shy to ask him to repeat it. i had only met him a few days before. isn't that freaking lame? that night, the keepaways became a band and brian got a crush on me. i was dressed up as a bear.

then this summer brian and i were on jonathan & anna's deck. i heard the song playing in the livingroom and totally flipped out. jonathan was like "it's the palace brothers, you don't have this? i can't believe you don't have this! it's so great, we'll go in and listen to it later." i was totally ecstatic. well we never went in and listened but i was just happy i at least knew who it was, if not the name of the song or what album. then brian tried to order it for me. he couldn't find it because the damn tricksters changed their name from palace brothers to palace songs to palace music and we didn't know that. anyway, he quit the fetus saturday (last day is christmas eve) and jimmy quick figured it out and got it in for him. it's "new partner" from "viva last blues." it had me thinking about all this heavy stuff last night that i can't even write about, but one little story i can tell.

since all the kids lived so far away from each other, we'd go home with each other for the weekend, even boys & girls because the parents were strict enough to keep us away from each other (or so they thought). this one weekend in october 96 (so now my junior year) i wanted to check off campus to andrea's for the weekend (even though she lived in hutch). my mom didn't want me to because she knew i liked a town boy. a town boy means a local public school boy, as opposed to a village boy who lived in town but went to academy. she came up with this tricky scheme that she needed my help with a garage sale, and didn't some of my friends want to come help too?

so andrea and aleisha (my next-door neighbor in the dorm - the way the closets were set up you could crawl under them into the next room, so we would do that during strict study hall) came with me. it was less than a month after my grandpa died, and my grandma was dying too. their house was only a couple miles from my mom's, right across hwy 7 in minnetonka (the road to hutch). we spent more time at their house that year than we did at home (i even lived there that summer). us three girls had been over there (probably to drink pop and eat yummy sandwiches) and we got permission to drive my grandma's lincoln. it was such a huge boat, i can't believe i could steer it. all three of us sat in front, since her wig was in the back seat and it kind of freaked us out. it looked like a squirrel. it was a saturday night and we decided to drive around looking for a party. we found this girl anna's 16th birthday party in wayzata, near my old house. she was really nice and let us hang out. there was a campfire near a big tree in the back yard. it was really fun and i was glad i didn't stay in hutch to hang out with a boy. yeah, there was no garage sale that weekend either. my mom is so sneaky.



my paws hurt. i spent the weekend in two harbors, decorating my grandparents' house for christmas. the main event was a christmas tree hunt. my cousin cortney and i went out into the fields and the woods with a big saw and two hatchets. we came back with a little charlie brown tree for the basement. that was easy. then we had to go find the biggest, beastliest tree of all time for the livingroom. we sawed most of the way through it, but then got stuck. the two of us rammed against the tree as hard as we could and pushed it over. then we hacked through the rest. to get the tree home, we had to keep switching sides (drag the tree with your left hand, then run around the other side and drag it with your right hand) and sometimes we had to just plop right down in the snow and catch our breath. by the time we had it up in the yard, we realized we could have pulled it behind us on a big sled or tied it up behind a snowmobile or thrown it into the back of the truck. i mean, we had many options other than killing our hands, our arms, our backs, our legs, for this monster. we got it into the kitchen and let it dry off there, rather than bringing it onto the livingroom carpet right away. we thought that was pretty smart of us. my dad cut wood the bottom of the trunk like a little post, to make it fit in the stand, because the thing was just too massive. finally we were ready to set it up. my grandparents have a vaulted ceiling and we wanted it to fill the room. um, it was too tall. we threw the thing back down on its side, cut off a few rounds of branches from the bottom, and then took three feet from the trunk. at least this time it fit in the stand. so it ended up being really awesome, but, yeah, my paws hurt. now who's gonna set up my christmas tree?



i have never successfully started a new plant from a cutting. for some reason i thought it would be a good idea to take cuttings from all the plants in my office, and i did, and apparently cuttings love fake light and weld dust. today i saw roots! i'm so thrilled.

to celebrate my love of roots, tonight i will eat beets and latkes.



i had one remaining vacation day for the year, and i used half of it this morning. now i've got half a day left, which seems like not much but it is. the last week of the year is only 4 days long because of new year's, the week before that is only 3 because of chrismukkah, and the week before that is - oh my god, next week! yeehaw. that means i got 1/2 day off today, and i'll take 1/2 day next week, then, yeah, this is sweet.
so what did i do with my 1/2 day? slept through it, mostly. it was great, but i think next week i'll take an afternoon off instead of a morning. that way i'll be more productive.

i'm getting really obsessed over 101. i'm having cinnamon dreams and key lime coughing fits. that tiny red sink. oh, that tiny red sink. it's all i can think about. if you don't know, you will soon.



brr i'm cold.

lately it seems like i can only have a drink or two and then i must sleep. last night, however, i figured out a way around that problem and started early. now i feel gross. both pat (my darling boss, who happens to be sleeping off some beverages right at this moment) and brian (my darling husband, who happens to be sleeping off some beverages right at this moment) swear by greasy drive-thru food and coke as the hangover sort-of-cure. i was afraid the smell of the food would make me sick, but i felt like i didn't really have a choice if i wanted to function today. i picked burger king, as i love that nasty orange onion ring sauce. it's the only thing on the menu i like. i consider burger king food acceptable only as a vehicle for the sauce. so. i forgot to ask for the sauce. grr.



guest blogger! this is an unedited email i received this morning from mumsie:

we have arrived in prague. it has been quite a day. our wake up call was at 4:45 this morning. that went fine. we checked out, got in our cab and went to the train station in budapest. here's where it gets bad. first we find our car and then look for our reserved seats. yes--there was a drunk guy there who had passed out and peed everywhere. i tried to find a ticket office open at the station, but couldn't so we just went and sat somewhere else. we had the trains with the little couchettes like our train from florence to venice.

about an hour into the trip i was getting our breakfast out of the duffle bag (we smartly shopped the night before) and realized that i had left the camera in our taxi. so-now no pics of our trip AND EVEN WORSE all of our pictures of maya were on the memory card too.

after eating breakfast i had to go to the bathroom. found the dirty room at the end of the car and did agood job standing up until we stopped in a station. the train stopped suddenly and i fell backwards to the wet, sticky, filthy toilet.

things are improving now that we are in prague--we were "upgraded" again to the executive floor where we have an all-day lounge with snacks and beverages and free internet access. our room is a suite, but not as clean as the hilton in budapest--which was so clean i almost took a bath there last night. there wasn't one speck of dirt or any hair in the bathroom at that hotel. the view from our window was like a fairytale. i captured it in pictures, but you know what happened to the camera, so...we are off to Wenceslas square and town square in praha. tomorrow i think we'll go to the castle area. we are planning to go to a hockey game since the hotel has tickets so that'll be fun.


yeah. my mom is a germ-obsessed, hockey-obsessed princess. she does not - does not - take baths in hotels. because, you know, it would be gross for her bum to touch the tub (she is very careful not to let any part of her body bump into the shower wall either). she's so cute.



it's the first day of december. it's like the first day of a three-month suck fest. yes, christmas, new year's, valentine's day, blah-blah-blah, twinkling lights and snowflakes, very pretty. but these three months suck. it's cold out, people are all mental, everything is all like CHANGE and there's so much guilt.

well i'm gonna make the most of the sucking. i'm gonna be super productive and use up all the fabric and yarn reserves that take up so much precious space. i'm gonna force my way into people's homes and play dominos with them. i'm gonna blow christmas money on seasons of little house on the prairie and memorize the lines.

of course, all of this has to wait until the two later months. this month will be festivus maximus (and planning time for the winter activity blitz). anyone have a good fruitcake recipe?


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