Monday, November 30, 2009

Pardon the cynicism

Thanksgiving was lovely. Nothing terribly momentous. And please pardon my Monday morning cynicism, but see below.

This photo is the reason why Jews don't celebrate Christmas. That and the fact that we could never figure out how to affix a tree to the top of our cars without it falling off onto the highway.

We just wouldn't wear Elf hats to the mall. We wouldn't. And I'm trying not to criticize, I'm just saying that it would be a cold day in you know where when Beth Weinblatt walked into Ridgedale sporting an Elf hat. And I really don't limit this just to my family. I just don't see it happening.
(please note that I followed these people 2/3 of the way around Ridgedale alone, creepily stalking them with my iphone trying to get a picture)

Cynicism #2. On Thursday night, Thanksgiving evening, Nicollet Mall ('main drag' in downtown Minneapolis that is closed to vehicles, just buses and pedestrians) was open for driving. Cars were allowed to drive down the Mall just for the night to view the holiday lights downtown. I love lights, and so Jeremy and I drove there to see the displays! We expected to be wowed and amazed as we sat in the line of cars waiting to do what is normally illegal. How rebellious we were, waiting to drive down and see what we could see. Finally, we got to Nicollet, turned, and saw nothing. We figured the display started farther down the street, as we were at the end, Nicollet and Washington Ave.

We drove, slowly, and drove, even slower. My head was angled to look ahead, to see the big displays. And this is what I see.

Even Jay Weinblatt could put up a better display than that. For real? We drove down the entire mall, and this was the most "Awesome" display we saw. Thank you city of Minneapolis, that was quite a treat.

After this little rendezvous I tried to get Jeremy to go to WalMart as they were open 24 hours. We protested, as we all know, he is a loyal Target employee and that would be treason. Not that I like Walmart, but I did want to get a glimpse of the crazies, waiting for their $20 TV's or whatever. C'est La Vie. We drove around Lake of the Isles, saw some genuinely cool lights. And went home, to sleep off the turkey.

Hope you all had a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

To give thanks

With Thanksgiving upon us I thought I'd reflect on some ways in which I am thankful:

1. Thankful that my dog's poo eating has decreased slightly.

2. I am thankful for my husband. Who has never eaten his own poo. That I know of.

3. I am thankful that I am employed. And that I actually really like my job. Very, very thankful.

4. I am thankful for fleece. Because of its many amazing qualities.

5. I am thankful for candycorn. Althrough I cannot be trusted with it and therefore limit myself to 1 day per year of candycorn consumption. That day has passed. I now have moved on and look back fondly and reverently.

6. I am thankful for Amie, my assistant at work. If there were work gold star charts, hers would be filled.

7. I am thankful for my mom who doesn't seem to mind my incessent calling. Or if she does, she does a damn good job of hiding it.

8. I am thankful for Costco. Because it is just such a darn fun store. And I love it when they sample the franks in a blanket. Because they are both deliscious and hilarious. Thank you Costco for providing many hours of entertainment.

9. I am thankful that I got the swine flu shot (no, I am not preggo - but technically I have exercise enduced asthma.)

10. I am thankful and slightly nostalgic for our condo building, The Groveland, for providing me with consistant blogworthy material like the following:

I know you probably cannot read this, but it says,
"The Groveland Board of Directors has agreed that Holiday Wreaths will be allowed on unit doors this Holiday season..."

It then goes on to explain that no other decorations on our decks or elsewhere are allowed. Jeremy and I will hide our menorah in our bathroom so nobody sees it through the window, thus breaking association rules.

Thank you comunist Russia. Also known as the Groveland.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Holiday Spirit

Typically, within commercial office buildings, we deliver holiday gifts around this time of year. At one of my buildings, I decided to do a few, smaller get togethers rather than spend the money on candy for each office.

In this one building I decided to do a holiday cookie party. I called the bakery, asked if they could do something, "Festive". I said, "Think pumpkins, and cornicopias, and turkeys". They replied, "We can do pilgrims and Indians". I quickly responded, perfect. I hung up and thought to myself, "Are Pilgrims and Indians still politically correct?" But I put it out of my mind, as I was looking forward to the festive cookie gathering.

Friday afternoon arrives, and the cookie delivery man drops of the trays of cookies. I bring them down into the common kitchen area and set everything out. 3:00 rolls around and the first of the tenants arrives. Several ladies from one of the businesses come down, look at the cookies, start whispering to one another and giggling.

What are they laughing at? This is akward. Is my fly unzipped? Do I have a booger?

One of the ladies walks over to me and says, "Kara, your cookies are naked except for a loin cloth".

Please see photograpic evidence below:

Oh that's right. So not only did I have mildly offensive cookies with Indians wearing feathers on their heads, but they were also X rated.

Way to go Kara. Guess next time I'll be more specific and ask for pumpkin and leaf cookies.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Changes abound! And if you know me, you know I hate change. But I'm working on it. This change is regarding our home. It looks like our condo will be up for sale very soon. And we may just be homeless! So...if anyone has a suggestion on where we could live for like 9-11 months, please let me know. Otherwise we will be squatting in my commercial office vacancies. And something tells me my boss won't like that.

Things I don't find funny:
1. The aforementioned ... change
2. When someone comes in and sticks another day right in the middle of the week. Because I'm pretty sure that's what happened this week. And I don't find it funny. Friday is far enough away that we don't need phantom days thrown in there.
3. Flat tire in my brand new tires. Which turns out to be not just a nail, but a nail AND a giant staple. Only me.

None of those things are funny. Particularly the extra day. I'm serious, this week will never end.

On a good note, I am sitting in my office waiting for Stacy to arrive because she is bringing me a present to work. Everyone needs a Stacy. And I'm not sharing her. Find your own!

On another side note, Stacy also offered to build a room for Jer and I above their garage. I found this funny because a. they would BUILD a room! themselves! amazing.
b. they live in Ham Lake. So thoughtful, but Ham Lake, really? Stacy likes to remind me that it's only 24 miles to Downtown. I like to remind her that 24 is a lot of miles. And she lives in a city with the word Ham in it's name. Something tells me no Jew has ever lived there. Maybe we should change the name of Saint Louis Park to more accurately reflect the populous, like Ham Lake....

Matzoh Lake
Latke Hills

Brilliant idea Kara. Can you tell that the nervousness over change has caused me to lose significant amounts of sleep this week?

If you know anyone looking for an awesome condo in Minneapolis - let me know! And if you know somewhere that we can live if we ever manage to sell the aforementioned condo, that would be helpful too.

Monday, November 16, 2009

more house hunting

This weekend continued the search for a house! This process has moved a bit quicker than we anticipated, but it appears that we should take advantage of, pardon my language, this craptastic market. So....we are on the hunt for a house to gut and renovate! This search brought us through Saint Louis Park and Golden Valley.

Now, keep in mind we do not care about size, condition, color, materials, aesthetic, none of it. We care about the location, the lot, and the footprint. Though, if there are other items within the home we can use, so much the better. However, this one was just a bit more than we could take....

Situated in Saint Louis Park, on a fairly nice street, near the lakes and highway 100, I thought this home would have great potential. Until we stepped out of the car.

We walked up the rickety old steps, and then decided we had to go up one at a time for fear of them collapsing (and we are not large people). We walk up the front door and realize that it is disguised. They have the front door covered with paneling so it looks like it is part of the house, and you can't find it. Strange.

We open the door and walk in. The floors are tilting so much that you have to bend your knees for stability while walking through the home. It looks like it has been ransacked, and clearly is vacant until we read a sign on a door:
"Please be quiet, my renter, Lylette is sleeping in this room while recovering from a medical procedure. If you choose to go in this room, please be sensitive of her condition and do not look at her."

FOR REAL? No way. A. There is a woman living in this dump? and B. Yuck.

For reasons which are still unclear, we continue to walk through the home. We enter the bathroom and find the following:

Yes, that would be a gigantic hold in the ceiling. We proceed to the kitchen and find those holes, like Swiss cheese, dotting the ceiling. We then see another lovely note from the homeowner:
"You may notice that we have had a bit of a water problem. We have had the problem fixed and wanted to wait a year before repairing the holes to make sure it didn't happen again."

Just a thought, but maybe then you shouldn't list your home for sale!!!! for $300,000!!! A few holes? This thing looked like the moon. The agent, the developer and Jeremy proceeded to the basement, where I am sure they have rented out the space to film horror movies. I went back to the front door, put my shoes back on and stood there. Fearing a poltergeist was going to jump out of the walls at me. Or maybe that was just Lylette, the infirmed renter.


The search continues.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

New Hobby...

First let me apologize for my lack of blogging lately. I was having a bit of an inspiration lapse, but we may have just found a new outlet for fresh material. Details to follow below.

We got married. Now we have nothing to do. We have a condo, so we don't have 'yard work' like every other person in the world. We don't have kids. We don't have home repair. We are bored. So, I decided to find a hobby. I researched community education classes. Timing hasn't worked out yet. I looked into volunteering, turns out there are waiting lists for all the things I've found so far! I joined committees. And then, we started looking for a house. As a pastime of course. Just a hobby. Just a free activity on the weekends. And let me tell you, this girl is picky. To date, we have probably toured over 50 homes, and I have not found even one that I would like to look at a second time. Yes, I am that picky. But it has served its purpose as a new hobby.

This past weekend Jeremy and I were driving through the South side of Saint Louis Park looking for open houses. We pull up to a house, play the guess the price game, and then enter. We have the sales agent personalities down pat:
**The young eager go getter waiting for their first sale
**The disgruntled older agent who has sold homes for 95 years and has personally "built this town"
**The middle aged professional who is just too busy to even talk to you while you walk through their home
**The agent who thoroughly believes the home they are holding open is both disgusting, overpriced and not suitable for sale. And will tell you as much.

But this weekend, we drove, and continued to drive South. Soon, Jeremy turns to me and says, "Uh, oh, I don't think we're in Saint Louis Park anymore". I respond: "We're not in Kansas anymore Toto, it looks like we're in ....EDINA".

The streets were a little wider. The grass was a little greener. The birds were chirping. The sun shone a bit brighter. Children romped and played on hand cut grass, and Muffy walked down the street with her fur coat, out for a stroll.

I turn to Jeremy and state, "We MUST walk through one of these open houses". Jeremy looks at me, and without a word, turns down yes, and I could not make this up, 'Country Club Drive', and we pull up to a home listed by none other than Sotheby's.

We walk up the steps, enter the home. I take off my left shoe and proclaim, "uh, oh, these floors are heated". Sign we should have walked right out: Heated tile floors. But we took our shoes off and entered the castle, I mean home. We walk in, without so much as a glance from the agent. We walk upstairs, and into the first bedroom. On the floor lay a rug, emblazoned across this rug was a giant "B". Above the bed was written the name BEN in wooden letters. Across the bedspread was a monogram of a B for Ben.

Okay, apparently this kid likes his name.

Enter bedroom #2. Rug on the floor with a giant F, wooden letters above the bed spelling out Finnegan, monogram ed bed spread with an F. This is Finnegan's room. In case you couldn't tell.

Bedroom #3. Sam on the rug, wall and bed.

Bedroom #4: the parents room. Gigantic monogram on the bed, dog bed on the floor which matched the bed linens, and I am not kidding hundreds of family photos covering every square inch of wall. And every single one in black and white.

We're not in Kansas anymore.

We quickly walked down the stairs, feeling like we were somewhere we shouldn't be. Ran into the kitchen, expecting to exchange the typical awkward greetings with the listing agent. However, she stood there, continued to talk to the neighbors about, "What a sweet little idea to hold an open house. Nobody ever does that to sell their home" and we continue to wander undisturbed. Eventually, I felt a bit too awkward and we dashed out the front door, like we were leaving somewhere we never should have been in the first place.

Goodbye Finnegan. Goodbye Sam. Goodbye Ben. Goodbye family with a matching dog bed.

If you are looking for some good entertainment this weekend, I highly suggest you join us on an outing of our new hobby. Tour a house with us, though we likely will not be going back to Edina. Sorry.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

What is wrong with this picture?

And Why is America Fat? I will tell you why in one simple text message:

Stacy: Kara, I just went to Rainbow and bought a 10lb ham and got a 10lb turkey, a dozen eggs, and 1 pound of sausage links for free!

Now I'm just going to take a stab at this one, and Erica, if you're reading this, you can correct me, but I don't think that really happens in Europe.

I can picture it, "monsieur your largest turkey please" And don't forget, I need a ham, eggs and sausage free.

One bypass, coming right up!

And not to pick on Stacy, because clearly, my reaction was, "I need to go over there and get that for myself!" But then I remembered I do not eat ham. Or Sausage. Nor would I have a clue what to do with an entire Turkey. The eggs I would use though.