I ♥ Peeps

I really do adore Peeps. They're so squishy-yummy - and cute to boot! They bring me an inconceivable amount of delight - so much that I'm giving them their very own tag. Check out the Original Pioneer Press Peeps Diorama Contest. I highly recommend viewing the slideshow in fullscreen mode to fully appreciate the cuteness that is the Peep.


The Bank

I was decluttering tonight and came across a list of quotes I kept while working at the Wells Fargo Phone Bank oh-so-many years ago (okay, 3 years ago). I spoke with a ridiculous number of insane customers while I was there and I'm sad I could only keep track of so many. (I had kept track of more, but my first quote list mysteriously disappeared from my triangle-shaped cube after hours one night. I'm still upset about it.)

There were the lonely, chatty customers:
"Can I tell you a story? What do you get when you have a fish and an elephant? Swimming trunks!" (Ha!)

"This is the history of 'me'... let me begin..." (Oh boy.)

The incredibly unintelligent customers from Alaska:
"We live in a bush. The only Wells Fargo is 150 miles away and only accessible by airplane."

"I can walk around with my phone!" (Revolutionary!)

"My husband just hit a moose with his truck. The moose is still alive but it's not doing so well - it was vomiting and then, of course, the bowels let loose." (Wonderful. And why are you calling me?)

And, my personal favorite, the rude customers:
"Wells Fargo fucking sucks and you guys need help!" (Eloquently put.)

me: "Thank you for calling. I was happy to speak with you."
mother in background: "He wasn't happy to speak with yo ass, bitch!"
I can still hardly believe I made it out alive. Every night I thank my lucky stars that I stumbled upon wonderful Tree Trust and am employed in a job I enjoy, working with people I admire, for an organization I appreciate. It's the cat's pajamas. Really.


Bert, Buffalo

Blake went to South Dakota a couple of summers ago and came home with Bert the Buffalo. Little did Blake know what a part of our lives this small, stuffed buffalo would become (if he had, I worry Bert might not have made it).

Here's the thing - all of my stuffed animals were animated when I was little, thanks to my dad and brother. I had a Snork who wore a sock on his snorky thing all winter to stay warm (my dad's idea). I had a bear who was sometimes served his very own plate at the dinner table. All of my stuffed animals would pop their little heads in the bathroom door to cheer me up when I was in the tub and my mom was pouring water in my eyes. So it quickly just became a way of life. My stuffed animals talked to me, they went on trips with us, they were a part of the family. My bear went off to college with me and met Sarah's bear and the world was a happy place.

So, naturally, I expected that little, stuffed Bert would demonstrate the same behavior as my childhood stuffed animals. Imagine my surprise when I realized that Blake intended for Bert to just sit on a shelf and look cute. It took him quite a while to warm up to the idea of having Bert as an active part of our lives but finally, he could resist no longer - and I do believe that our relationship is better because of it.

This is why:

-Blake demonstrates his ability to be a nurturing caretaker by giving Bert kisses, sharing bites of his food with Bert, and massaging Bert's feet when the poor little guy has had a rough day. (And as much as he'd argue that he does all of this just to appease me, he's the one who panics when Bert is lost under the bed for a mere second.)

Bert & Blake

-Bert can express all sorts of disapproval - releasing me from the role of 'nagging girlfriend'. "Bert wishes you would remember to chew with your mouth closed." "Bert is worried that we're not spending enough quality time together." (It's handy that he speaks only in whispers and mostly to me.) Bert is often on my side - because I'm often right - and I always have an instant "2 to 1" argument.

-Bert is fun. Really. We have a constant prompt to be silly and ridiculous - to play and make each other laugh. That's the big reason.

Is our integration of Bert into our relationship strange? Yes. Are there stranger things in the world? Definitely yes. On the scale of strangeness I think we're doing alright. Maybe every relationship could even benefit from a little stuffed buffalo, who knows. Or maybe it's just us.


Shopping for Vacations that Aren't Being Taken

I've been doing a lot of vacation planning lately. At one point in time I was planning because I actually intended to take a vacation. But then I found out that my preferred vacation partner prefers to spend his time remodeling kitchens instead of traveling with me (that's not totally true - it's just that he will be remodeling for the next four billion months, it seems). I thought about traveling alone but I did that for 3 months last year and it wasn't really my favorite thing in the world. So now I'm just planning vacations that I won't ever take.

In the process I've come across some great travel resources:

I don't know that I'd actually make a purchase through this site, but there's a great option (under Deals) to search multiple destinations and multiple dates. Just choose a departure city and month - it will tell you the least expensive places and dates to travel.

Zuji is based outside of the US and it will, therefore, allow you to do a 'flexible date' search for international flights (US-based sites aren't allowed to do this because of some fuel surcharge issue that I don't really understand).

Mobissimo searches flights from a whole slew of travel websites all at once. It's absolute brilliance. (And as a rational economic agent, it's probably the closest I'll ever get to the intangible ideal of a perfectly competitive market equilibrium based on perfect information - which makes me a happy girl.)


The Weather

Yes, I'm blogging about The Weather. I realize that many people specifically dislike discussion about The Weather, but I'm not one of them. And I haven't posted for a while.

Surfers talk about swell - snowboarders, powder - Minnesotans, The Weather. If we lived in California, there would be no need. It's 75 and sunny, 75 and sunny, 75 and sunny. How boring.*

Living here, at the mercy of an unpredictable and wretched climate, The Weather is something worth discussing.

So I am completely justified in exclaiming, IT WAS 50 AND SUNNY TODAY!

Looks like we're quickly approaching Mud** - I'd better break out the galoshes.

*boring = absolutely wonderful

**My version of the seasons goes something like this like this: