Thursday, February 26, 2009


If I look to my right, I can see a half-empty parking lot, full of cars hidden beneath a blanket of new snow. Headlights, like tired eyelids, are poking out warily from beneath the brows of so many hoods, waiting to lurch to life on the way home which will, hopefully, be not too far off. Leafless trees are waving, defying the airy flakes gathering en masse, knowing they will have the last laugh with the inevitable marching in of springtime.

If I look to my left, I can't see anything except a whitened window.

After spending nearly 20 hours editing a 15-minute video over the past few days, it will be nice to put the final polishing touches on it at home tonight, a mug of hot chocolate beside me and my playlist faithfully chugging away while winter, not quite in its death throes, struggles to blast the Great North one more time.

I'm going to miss these Minnesota winters next year. But then, it will be nice to wear a T-shirt and jeans in January, and run errands in February without waiting for the engine to warm up first. It's a trade-off, to be sure, and all things considered I'll take warm weather over its chilly counterpart any day of the week. But still, there's just something about a Minnesota snowstorm (not to be confused with a Nebraska snowstorm, which would be melted by this time tomorrow) that makes me feel...alive.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Too Short?

More than a year ago, my cousin Beth convinced me to give Facebook a shot. I was skeptical at first, but took the plunge nonetheless, and ever since it's been pretty cool. Sure there are some annoyances, like constant invitations to join causes, play games, and be in groups, and I have trouble following everything that's going on at times, but for the most part I have found it to be an easy and (dare I say it? Yes, I dare) fun (whew!) way of keeping in touch with people.

Two weeks ago, also at the slight prodding of Beth, I joined Twitter. And now, two weeks in, I'm still not exactly sure what it is or does, and just exactly how it has grown to be so popular, but, well, I'm using it. So that's something, I guess. Actually, I'm finding that between this blog, Facebook, and now Twitter, it's kind of hard to keep track of them all. But I'm sure things will even out over time, and who knows, this Twitter thing might catch on. Kind of like those DVD things people keep talking about. I hear they're gonna be huge someday...

Last weekend we went up to Saint Cloud for some Cross Country skiing courtesy of my aunt and uncle, who are avid CC Skiers, and also (guess who?) my cousin Beth. We had a pretty good time, and though I didn't enjoy it quite as much as downhill skiing, it was fun to be out in the snow and learning something new. After that we had a delicious dinner of, what basically amounted to homemade Chipotle burritos, and then went to see the movie Fireproof at a catholic church nearby. Despite being virtually eviscerated by critics, I found it to be thoroughly enjoyable, and one of the most compelling movies I have seen in a while. I highly recommend it to anyone, but especially anyone who is married. Excellent movie.

Time to get back to some lesson plans, and then maybe an episode of The Office before bed.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Warming trends

Some people think it's a bit trite to discuss the weather, but most of those people don't live in Minnesota. It's been CRAZY cold here in the past month, and only recently have things been above zero on a regular basis. Today I walked out of work and it was a downright balmy 30 degrees. My wife and I even went for a walk a week ago, and the best part of all this is, it's only going to get better from here on out. Sure we will get plenty of snow, cold mornings, and icy windshields, but at least the days are getting longer and Spring is in sight.

Last Saturday we went snow tubing at Afton Alps with a bunch of friends, and I wouldn't say it was necessarily better than Green Acres, but it was fun in a different sort of way. Their six well-manicured runs and cool conveyor belt-type of lift were a radical change from Green Acres' two runs and tow-rope lift, and they definitely had higher-quality tubes too. But I kind of like Green Acres' semi-shifty aesthetic, and their two hills are much wider, allowing for massive groups to go down at one time, all linked and tangled together. Still, it was fun going to Afton nonetheless, and after our first run the conveyor belt broke so we had to hoof it up the hill Moses Merril style, but we also got free passes to go again. And so we shall. :)

Ever since reading everyone's "25 things" posts on Facebook, I've been thinking about what I want to say on mine. Even though the fad has kind of passed by now ("25 things about yourself? Dude, that's so last week...") it might be cool anyway. And it's not like the lists are anything groundbreaking or life-changing, and nobody thinks about them for more than a minute after they read them, but still, I want mine to be good. Not better, necessarily, than anyone else's, but good enough that one of the things might actually be memorable or insightful. So, as my dad used to say, we'll have to see.

Speaking of my dad, I hope he's doing better after hurting his hand a few days ago. He broke one of his fingers and will have a splint/cast thing on for a few weeks, so Dad, if you're reading this, we are praying for you and hopefully you can still find a way to operate the welder with one hand. :)

And Sarah, if you're reading this, thanks for coming over with Jon last night. Sgt. Bilko was great, as was the delicious lasagne.