Minnesota State Fair 2014: More fun than you can handle

Minnesota State Fair 2014It’s that time of year again! The Minnesota State Fair 2014 runs from August 21st through Labor Day Weekend. I couldn’t be more excited to experience the Great Minnesota Get Together again.

OK, yes. I hate crowds, but I seem to be able to handle my crowd-phobia fairly well at the Minnesota State Fair. There’s so much to see and so much to do to distract me from my fears, plus there’s plenty of booze.

Minnesotans take their State Fair seriously and for good reason. It’s pro-level state fairing. It’s like no other state or county fair I’ve been to, but then again, I’ve only been to a few. Texas might rival it, but I’ll bet not many other states even come close. Continue reading

How do you define influence?

Work-Redux-InfluenceToday, I went to an inspirational meeting of the minds in Saint Paul.  It was called Work Redux.  The folks at Pollen gathered together a group of women to speak about influence.  It was amazing. There was shift in my perspective.  I felt better than I had in a while. There was no sense of doom hanging over my soul.  It was as though the universe wanted me there to remind me that I don’t have to conform to what I think society wants me to do.  I can do what’s in my heart.

Influence comes in so many different forms.  As one woman put it, a subtle form of influence can be powerful. Another spoke about the influence of kindness.

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Help a Minnesota Maker Succeed: HAMMS Event, Saint Paul

Finally, it’s spring time! In Minnesota that means a bunch of really interesting events are about to spring up.  Get it? Sorry, the crazy winter has made me loopy.

Hamms Event St Paul NonChron

Courtesy of HAMMS Event

Anyway, one such happening is the HAMMS Event. It’s a one day market that features local and micro merchants. Formally, it’s called HAMMS – Help a Minnesota Maker Succeed.  It’s not your typical artisan market. This event has a bit of a twist to it.  One lucky Minnesota Maker will receive up to $5,000 of the ticket sales from the event.  It’s part crowd funding and part market according to the website.

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Minnesota: The land of never ending winter?

MinnesotaWinterHumorYesterday, I had a mental breakdown. The drive home was so frightening that the moment I saw Paul, I burst into tears.  I was so happy to be alive and needed to relieve the pent up stress from white knuckle driving through downtown Minneapolis.

Honestly, why do you people live here? Do you not know California exists? I kept thinking to myself, “Why am I putting myself through this? Why is anyone driving? This is so dangerous.”

My first winter driving in slick conditions and it’s one of the worst the locals can remember. Also, I just hate driving in general.  Icy roads exacerbate my fears. It’s not the roads that scare me; it’s other people.  People are stupid and they drive.

Did I mention a bus slid past my car? Yes. A. Bus. A few inches to the right and I might not be writing this blog post.

So, my Beetle has to navigate along icy streets while I pray idiots in vehicles of varying size don’t kill me.

You know how people drive when it’s sunny and warm?  They do that when it’s -1 and icy snow is compacted beneath their tires.

Do you see that top photo?  That’s what the streets looked like last Saturday.  They still look like that on Tuesday.

I’ve reached my breaking point with this weather.  I worked from home today because I just couldn’t bring myself to get into the car.  I could feel a panic attack welling up inside me as I laid in bed trying to will myself to get out of it.

This craptastic weather is supposed to last for another week or two. Can someone please help me maintain my sanity?  I’ve thought about seeing a therapist, but I have a feeling it would go much like Sheldon talking to Leonard trying to overcome his stage fright. I would not be impressed.

The one and only time I’ve ever gone to a therapist, I remember thinking, “So, I’m not screwed up. This lady is pretty much giving me the same advice I’ve heard from my parents and my friends. I’m done here.”

I think my problem really stems from an overload of stress.  This winter is HIGHLY stressful to everyone.  Add to that planning a wedding, which I’m excited about, but is a stressor nonetheless.

Tomorrow the forecast is supposed to be god-awful again and driving conditions around the Twin Cities are not going to be improving. Paul’s class was canceled tonight “due to the impending weather” as he put it.

So, will winter ever end or have we entered another ice age?

Be back soon: Gone winter crazy

My first winter in Minnesota and it’s awful. Honestly, do you people know California exists? I now understand why people thought I was nuts for moving here.  Love does make you do crazy things.

I mean what the hell, Minnesota? Getting to the grocery store is a freaking chore. I’m not used to having my movements so restricted. I used to be annoyed by the rain.  What a fool I was.

The thought of going out to dinner exhausts me. Do you know how much effort that will take?

I’m tired of having to wear 5 layers of clothing just to ensure one of my extremities doesn’t fall off while getting out of the car. I’m tired of worrying that the oil in my car might be too frozen for it to turn on after a day of work. I’m tired of seeing the Wind Chill Advisory and a temperature well below zero as the high…THE HIGH!

When I was getting ready to move out here, I was worried about road conditions. Someone made a flippant comment about it not being the 1800s and not driving a wagon.

Um, dude. You have NO idea.

Snow blowing across the road makes me cringe. Ice on the road is frightening. I know now just how stupid people are in their cars.

My poor car has taken one hell of a beating….Not from the snow, but from the horrible potholes riddled throughout the streets of Saint Paul and even Minneapolis.  Sorry, dude, but my Beetle won’t roll over the 4 inch pothole as quickly as your SUV. Deal with it or tell your council member to get off his/her ass and fix the roads.

Speaking of…there are roads that don’t get plowed. I’m dead serious. They are side streets and have a giant layer of snowy ice lining them. How the people who live on them deal with that crap is beyond me.  I’d be the crazy lady dragging a giant bag of salt up and down the road, cussing the government the whole time.

How many more days until spring?  I keep day dreaming about it and summer, which is a clear sign I’ve lost my mind because I usually hate summer. Now I understand why it’s so much better.  You don’t have to be holed up in your house shaking your fist at the weather person. You can actually leave whenever you want or need. Ahhhhhh, the freedom.

All venting aside, I wouldn’t leave this place without Paul. Being able to laugh with him, snuggle with him and generally enjoy life with him does make all this crap worth it.  Besides, it won’t be winter forever, right?

Hot damn, it’s cold again.

WintertimeSucksDon’t call it a polar vortex…or a comeback. It’s just the subzero temps have hit the midwest again. And I think the northeast is getting pounded by snow.  Have I mentioned that I’m sort of over the snow?

Don’t get me wrong. I like watching it fall, but driving in it is ridiculous.  I keep thinking, “You people know California exists, right? You don’t have to put up with this crap.”

I have to because Paul is starting his MBA courses at the University of Minnesota this week.  Luckily, it won’t be winter forever, but I will be in love with him forever.  Yes, you can barf now.

It’s better that I vent about this stupid cold than keep it in and go postal one day.  Plus, I feel better (or maybe a little scared) when I hear native Minnesotans complain that this cold is too cold.

Did I mention it was -16 this morning?  I won’t even bother with the windchill factor.

Please, just don’t let any more pipes in the apartment building burst. (Knocks on wood) We got out with minimal damage, but the hallway is still under construction, which is highly annoying.

I guess I should just let go.  I mean I can’t control the weather and if I could, I’d send some rain to California and wherever else it’s needed.