Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Some day this will be really, really funny

Last week Wayne and I had an appointment to meet with our banker to sign some papers. Nothing big, just some standard stuff to take care of.

The banker could meet us at any branch, we just had to name the place and time. Wayne decided it would be best to meet her in downtown St. Paul, closest to my work, because *shocking* I have a tendency to be late to things, and he figured the closer it was to my work the higher the likelihood that I would be on time.

We had a 1 pm appointment in a building 10 minutes away from where I work. Easy peezy.

Wayne drove from Plymouth to St. Paul and was at the bank by 12:20. He called me to tell me he was there and remind me that the street in front of the bank was torn up and I'd have to find an alternate route. He even recommended a parking ramp I could park in. I figured I'd better get going, just in case it took me longer than the 10 minutes that I expected, so I could not annoy my husband who hates my chronic lateness. So I left at 12:25. Plenty of time.

Famous last words.

I drove to the general vicinity of the building. Traffic was horrible, of course, because of all the construction. I happened to see an open street parking spot and took it, knowing that I was only a block or two from the building. I plunked a few quarters in to the meter, knowing I would be back before it ran out.

And then I walked. And walked. And walked six blocks in the COMPLETELY WRONG DIRECTION.

I called Wayne. I asked which building. "The one with 'Wells Fargo' really big on the top," he said.

That's great and all if I were miles away and viewing the St. Paul cityscape from a hill. But I'm on the street, and I can't look up 20 stories into the air.

After walking for a very long time, I finally realized my mistake and that I had gone in the wrong direction from the car. So I walk past the car again (no ticket, meter still good), and walk in the other direction.

This time I find the right building but can't get into it. Apparently I'm supposed to be a business tenant of the building to enter the elevator, and I have to exit the building, go back down the street and to the other entrance to get to where I need to go.

I finally make it, then am guided by cell phone to the correct floor.

Time of arrival? 1:10 pm.

This is the best part.

The only two things I had to do were:

1. Show up on time.
2. Have my ID with me proving I'm me.

I open my wallet to pull out my driver's license, only to see a blank spot where it used to be.

I had put it into the pocket of my jacket when I'd gone out for a walk the evening before, where it still was. I was confident it was still there, in the pocket of the jacket, which was hanging in my office. At my place of business. "Ten minutes" from where I was now located.

Thankfully the banker agreed that if I emailed her a scanned copy of my ID once I returned to the office we could still move forward. Whew!

Actually, this is the best part.

I returned to my car to find a ticket on the windshield. I check the meter, it had run out (surprise!). I look at the ticket. It is NOT for an expired meter.

It is for not parking parallel to the curb.

Sure enough, I had parked partly askance, in my hurry to get to the appointment on time. Which, of course, I wasn't.

Cost? $38.

Wine, anyone?

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Gift

We were given a gift this past weekend. Some day we will look back and say, "Remember that St. Patrick's Day weekend when it was in the 70's all weekend? Crazy!"

So what do you do on a weekend like that? You relish it. You savor every moment. And you document it, so you don't forget.

We made homemade sundaes.
We raced.
Marissa broke in the swing.

While Lindsey tested to see if it still swung as high.

The trees are confused.
The girls played on the front yard.

And snuggled their Build-A-Bear bears.

Dax caught bubbles.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

I'm the One in the Green T-Shirt

St. Patrick's Day kicked off with a run for both Wayne and I. He ran the Get Lucky 21k (or half-marathon) in St. Paul, while I ran my first-ever 7k.
What an experience!

I ran with my friend Emily and a group of her friends, six of us in total. They were all very nice and committed to finishing together. My knee didn't start hurting until the 5k mark, which was a victory in my book. I had to run-walk the last 2k, but someone else was doing that as well so we all stuck together.

Wayne completed his half-marathon in record time. Seriously. He finished in 1 hr 30 minutes, or a 6:47 pace. This would re-qualify him for the NYC marathon, if he ever wanted to do that one again.

He headed to Minneapolis after his race and we attempted to meet up at Kieran's Pub, but the line to get in was literally to the end of the block. (Kieran's had been the presenting sponsor of the race and each runner's race bib was a ticket for a free beer.) We ended up meeting at O'Donovan's down the street, which was filled with runners, but not over-packed like Kieran's.

Wayne, Emily and I had a few brews, a plate of fish and chips and listened to some live music.

All before noon.

To top it off, the weather was unbelievable. We hit a record high of 80 degrees. On March 17. In Minnesota.

Last year runners were wearing jackets, hats and gloves, and this year it was a sea of t-shirts, shorts and, of course, green tutus.

Crowd shot of the 2011 Get Lucky 7k.
I've never seen so much green, since people didn't have to cover up their green shirts with jackets.

Emily and I laughed when we heard people around us on phones, trying to meet up with their people. "I'm the one in the green t-shirt," they'd say.

Yeah, you and 7,000 other people!

We decided that next year we're all going to wear pink, to stand out in the crowd.

Friday, March 09, 2012

And the Academy Award Goes to...

The week after the Academy Awards Lindsey's grade held an award ceremony of their own.

The students all had to pick a paragraph to read in front of the entire class. The class would then vote on who read their paragraph with the most expression, the best pronunciation, the least number of stops and so on. Staring only at your paper and speaking in a monotone voice was clearly not recommended.

The other piece of this was that you got to dress for the occasion as if you were going to the Academy Awards, and there would be a best dressed category as well. Pull out your fanciest dress, your suit you wore to Aunt Evie's wedding, you're going to a show!

Guess who was incredibly excited about this? My girl, of course.

Guess who wasn't? Most of the boys. (Heresay, but still, I suspect Lindsey's right.)

Lindsey spent a week planning out what she was going to wear. And she got permission from me to wear the flower girl dress from Travis and Elizabeth's wedding nearly 3 summers ago. It's just aging in a closet, why not? And while the dress is now a tee-length on her, sadly it still zips up around her ribcage, even over a shirt. The girl needs to eat.

She picked out her hair accessories the weekend before, had me paint her nails the night before, and the morning of the big event she asked me to curl her hair.
Curly girl all ready for the show!
Lindsey has about 40 minutes of curling worth of hair.

I wish I could've been there to see it, but I had been absent from work for various other volunteer efforts and concerts of late, I just couldn't justify it. So I had to wait to hear how it went until the end of the day.

Lindsey practically glowed when I picked her up. She had won best dressed! She talked about how everyone "ooo'ed" and "aahh'ed" when they saw her, and some of her girlfriends held up the train of her dress as she walked.

She had such a great time!
You like me! You really, really like me!

Saturday, March 03, 2012

I'm Honored...Not Really...

One day this past week a catalog for Melly's plopped in our mailbox. And I can say "plop" -- the thing was probably 2 feet high by a foot wide. I had to have Lindsey hold it so you could get an idea of the scale of this thing.

What a huge catalog!
From a creative perspective, I can say that they did a great job of getting my attention. It's big, colorful and beautiful. But from a direct marketing perspective, they were way off.

There is a Melly's store in the Galleria, an upscale shopping center down France Ave. I am practically within walking distance of the store which I have absolutely no plans of visiting anytime soon.

$288 for a shirt. $468 for a dress. A strapless, summer garden dress that I have no place to go wearing it. $598 for shoes. Shoes, people. Those things that I scuff on the sidewalk the first time I wear them. If I ever spent that kind of money on a pair of shoes I would put them behind glass and make everyone who walked into my house gaze at them like a piece of fricking art.

Lindsey's "Really?!" look. Get used to it, she'll perfect it by her teen years.
I can only imagine that the company was talked into doing a "zip saturation" mailing, where you mail to all households in certain zip codes around your locations, assuming that everyone who lives in those zip codes has the demographics you're looking for in potential buyers.

I'm going to take a stab at Melly's target customer, based on what I remember of the catalog world.

90% women.
Average household income $250,000+
Age range 35-55.
Spends $200/mo on beauty/spa products.
Average order size $350.

This is so not me.

So thanks, I'm honored...kind of. I'm glad you think that I would value your products, but I don't. And I'm pretty sure my 83-year-old widow neighbor down the street who bought her house for $30,000 in 1955 doesn't value your products, either.

Nice try.

Friday, March 02, 2012

Apartment for Rent - CHEAP!

I drive by this house nearly every day on my way home from work. Notice anything strange about it?

Yeah, seems weird to me too.

The ledger boards have been on the home for at least two years now. There are obviously plans to put on some kind of porch or walkway on the second and third stories, but it hasn't been done yet. Which begs the question: Who uses that upstairs door, anyway?

Since the house is divided into three units for rental, I decided to throw this out to my Facebook friends, to write a headline to help sell that upstairs apartment.

I've got some pretty clever friends, let me tell you.

Here's what they came up with:

  • Be on top of the world in this very affordable upstairs apartment.
  • An upstairs apartment so cozy, you'll never want to leave!
  • Enjoy living in comfort and efficiency in this second story flat with walkout monorail access.
One of my friends came up with an ad for a person living in this apartment:
  • Single white female seeks relationship with firefighter to carry her away.
Comment below and add your own!