Sunday, March 31, 2013

What the hair is going on with Deana?!

This post actually has nothing to do with hair, or Deana.

One of my neighbors must run a salon out of her house. And her name must be Deana, because there is a sign in our alley that says "What the hair is going on with Deana?!"

Verbatim.

And I see it everytime I drive through the alley to park the car in our alleyway garage.

I see it so often that sometimes I've just taken to exclaiming that phrase at random times during the day. No one gets it but me, I usually get a strange look or two, or if it's Hubs he just shakes his head in a sweet-and-exasperated-my-wife-is-such-a-weirdo sort of way.

Everytime I say it I feel a little silly, because it was a stream of consciousness sort of thing that I accidentally blurted out instead of saying it in my head like a normal person. But you know what? It's not a bad saying! It's a very innocent exclamation on an event, or a day, or a person (who may or may not be named Deana). 

Now, normally I swear like a sailor. It's actually very unladylike and I am in deep trouble once I start having kids and have to, you know, not use profanity.

But maybe Deana can help me start to moderate my speech a little. A small but important daily lesson that I should probably be more conscious of what I am saying out loud.



And in return, I shall do a little free advertising for the (probably unlicensed) salon whose sign hangs on my block and entertains my garage-entry daily with a fun little sign.


Thursday, February 7, 2013

A blustery gustery date night.

Oh, the joys of living in Minnesota! The (literally) subzero wind chills, the blowing snow, the constant cake of salt on your car. Why did we move here again?

There was a week of -30 degree wind chills a couple of weeks ago, and I took to wearing tights under my jeans for a couple of days.

Then I realized that the tights deprived me of any sensation in my lower body. Importantly, I couldn't tell when my pants were falling down, exposing a couple inches of really attractive black tights above my waist. Until at the end of the day, when *finally* my male co-worker said to me, "Dude. What's going on with your pants."

Lovely.

In any case, there have been quite a few days where I've just been COLD all day. Cold at work, cold walking home, cold hiding under three blankets on the couch watching reruns of Top Chef. So when we were trying to decide where to go for Date Night this week I had one request: that it be a WARM place.

We were trolling our neighborhood and it occurred to us that we hadn't been to this restaurant before!

I saw it on the Food Network once, though. *Foodies love Minneapolis* A show called "24 in 24", where the host, some dude named Jeff, goes to a city and tries to eat four meals in a day for less than $24. 

He went to The Anchor Fish and Chips for dinner, which is in Nordeast Minneapolis, and ate fish fry.

We thought we'd do the same!

I was a little skeptical of the temperature control of the venue...I sat down and spied what I can only conclude is a fake electric fireplace. The size of a shoebox. In the corner.


Hunger overwhelmed me at that point so we sat down and perused the menu.
They had a variety of Irish-sounding menu items (pasties? bangers?) but the NAME of the restaurant has "fish and chips" in it. Obviously that's what we ordered.


We sat at the bar, so while we waited Hubs and I drooled over the frying station. Leftover crispy bits of fried batter and chips hanging out. Nomnomnomnom.


Oh Em Gee, holy deep fried goodness, Batman.


I washed mine down with a couple of pints of hard cider. 


It was delicious! I looked over after getting halfway through my fish, and this is what I saw in front of Hubbles.


 He looks guilty, like he's just eaten a lot of fish and chips in a very short period of time.


Happy Fish Fry! It's coming up on that time of year, where small town restaurants everywhere start frying lots of fish before Easter. We got our quota in early. Although maybe not really, because we are definitely coming back to the Anchor again. Soon.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Date Night Sausage Fest!

....Quite literally, a sausage fest.

Hubs and I discovered (thanks to some friends) that the Panera that was closest to us in Nordeast Minneapolis had gone under...*notearsthere*...and had been replaced by a sausage restaurant.

Ummm really?!

Well, I am usually ambivalent about sausage, oh me of the pork-less culinary life, but I do like adventurous eating. And Hubbles, well, you don't have to convince him twice to try sausage for dinner.

So off we went to New Bohemia, a "wurst and bier haus". So German. Hubs was in his element.




YUMMMM.

The food and beer selection was quite to our liking. They have over 20 beers on tap, and NONE of them are Miller Lite. I liked it already. I tried a couple different brews while I was there...Hubby couldn't decide. He picked a flight of beers, and it arrived on a paddle. 





 They had a bunch of non-pork options, I almost leaped across the counter and hugged the girl taking our order.

Hubs (surprise surprise) ordered the German style sausage. We then decided to try a pheasant sausage, and a rattlesnake-rabbit-jalapeno sausage.

So much sausage!

We ordered some slaw and fries and settled down at one of the long benches to drink our beers, eat our food, and watch some Badger basketball. They lost. But the food was a big WIN so it all evened out!


 Watch out New Bohemia, the Brunners are coming back at you. Soon.






Monday, January 28, 2013

Every day I'm dabblin'...

Ok, well not every day. But this weekend we were dabblin'.....BEER dabblin', that is.

In order to combat the wintry weather of the Great White North, we here Minnesotans like to come up with interesting and crazy activities to partake in during the 9 months of winter!

Just kidding. It's more like 6 months of winter.

Also, if any of you out there like to drink beer, you will have noticed that microbrews are all the rage these days! What is a microbrew, you ask? Well, broadly speaking, it's a small brewery (usually local, usually with a funny name) that likes to make specialty brews. Basically anything that isn't Anheuser-Busch or Miller.

Hubs is a HUGE fan of specialty brews, he's an aspiring brewer himself (we churn out a batch of beers every couple of months out of our basement), and so we joined with some friends and braved the chill for the 4th Annual Beer Dabbler Winter Carnival!!

What is this exciting event, you ask?? It involves hundreds of small breweries each setting up a booth and serving delicious samplings of winter brews, a smattering of local food trucks serving up steaming hot edibles, some music and disco fun, and all of the attendees wearing snowsuits and getting uproariously drunk. All outside. All in 10 degree weather. For 4 hours.

It was...a riot. We drank delicious brew samplings, had goodnatured conversations with friends and strangers alike, and boogied. I managed to snap some pics as well. Enjoy!!













Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Winter blahs and life choices.

The other day I got some terrible news.

One of my best friends, who I love like a sister, has been trying for a baby with her wonderful husband for over two years now. With many ups and downs, and doctors visits, and fertility treatments, they had finally gotten pregnant.

She told me last week that she had lost the baby.

It's an unimaginable pain to lose a child, born or unborn, and it's been a rough road for her, one that she still has a lot of healing to do before she can leave. All I can hope to do for her is support her and be there for her for whatever she needs.

I'm at the stage in my life where a lot of my friends are starting families, and this hit home for me a little more than other news might. It got me thinking about the choices we make in life, how we prioritize our lives. Careers, loved ones, family, parents, children, cars, homes, vacations, pets....in what order do we place these things on our life list?

How often do we say, "I can do this later", or "That can wait", or "Someday I'll be able to..."?

Life is short. Disaster, tragedy, happiness, explosive diarrhea, all of these things could happen at any moment.

Hopefully less with the explosive diarrhea.

But the fact that these uncertainties exist make living terrible and precious and wonderful all at the same time, in my opinion. I am WAAAAY too Type-A and mega-planner to ever say "Life is short, let's spontaneously fly to Europe or the moon" (hey, it could happen someday.). But taking a big inhale-exhale once a day and appreciating the small and beautiful things in my life isn't hard to do, as long as I am conscious and remember. I have a wonderful family. My husband is mindblowingly awesome. I just downloaded a killer album on iTunes. 

What are the beautiful things in your life? Store away those things, in your memory if nowhere else. Life is short. Make it sweet.

And on a lighter note, here is a picture of my fur-baby dressed up as Santa Claus (Santa Claws? too punny?).

Happy 2013!