snowy february

in the end, we’re supposed to get between 12-16″ of snow here in st cloud. i don’t think i have ever been witness to that much snow on the ground before.

oh, kate, what about the big halloween blizzard of ’91?

oh, but i wasn’t privy to all that snow. see, in ’91, i lived in austin, and while the top 90% of minnesota got a dump of heavy white stuff on their lawns that night, we got 3″ of ice.

i remember trick or treating that night, all bundled up in coats and mittens as we went to limited houses and knocked for candy. my dad normally drove my siblings and me up to our aunt and uncle’s house a mile and a half north of us to trick or treat there and across the street as well, and as we drove back, we were hit with rain. we were far enough south that the temperature hovered around 32-33 degrees that night, then suddenly plummeted to below freezing while the rain fell from clouds that were still above freezing.

the next morning, i remember waking up and looking out the window at the icy front yard. we had two cone-shaped conifers (the actual name of the tree escapes me, but it looks like something you’d see in a nice landscaped yard) that were literally bent into four parts from all the weight of the ice. the driveway was glare, the electricity was out, and it was the perfect time for my father to decide to drive into town to see where all the damage was.

needless to say, we were out of power for four days. the most snow i remember having fallen while growing up from a snow storm that maybe brought 8″. nothing huge.

my grandpa, who lived in roseau in the northwestern corner of the state and later in st. cloud, often said that we lived in the “banana belt” down there in austin. and i think he was right. when my family moved to spicer, i noticed more snow and more storms.

but i think this will be the biggest one i’ve seen yet, and for a minnesotan, that’s pretty sad.

it will soon be gone, however, and i wish all this snow would have come in december. i’ve often said, the only reason i put up with the freezing cold is for snow on christmas. this storm would have been more than welcome december 19.

soon it will melt, once we get into late march (which is just around the corner), and during late april i will welcome the warming temps and chirping bugs and frogs and late-evening drives to feel warm air on my face. the sun will stay out longer, thanks to daylight savings time and a lovely tilt toward the sun, and soon it will be spring-into summertime, which is always the season i most welcome (not my favorite, that is fall, but the most welcome after long months of below-freezing temps) and the season i forget that i miss.

but for now it will snow, long and hard overnight and into tomorrow and tomorrow night. the plows will come and make our lives easier for driving and getting to places of commerce, and by monday morning we will be able to get to our places of work and work our 8-hour shifts. but for now, i will be content to stay where i am – in my warm apartment with a cup of tea and a book, and let the snow fall.

oh, the mediocrity

i’ve been at my job for four days.

and it’s kinda meh.

first, i was not informed that everybody works every third weekend when there’s a lot of jobs backed up. that was “inadvertently” left out of my interviews, i guess. so that’s not really that cool.

second, the job is not exactly what i expected it to be. i guess i thought i would be getting instructions on how to put something together, design it, and then it would go back to proofing or whatever, then make corrections, etc. etc. no. basically, it is looking at an already completely finished piece, making sure the pictures are all there, the fonts are ok, and it’s ready to go to print. no designing really on any part at all. i guess i thought there would be a little designing.

plus, the people are interesting. there’s a woman who’s worked there for 17 years, and she’s kind of…abrasive, i guess you could say. really out there, in your face. there’s an older woman who works there who’s pretty cool; we talked about our cats on friday. there’s also a girl there who has a second job at hooters, and a girl who’s on maternity leave, but will be back soon. red-haired, six feet tall, and apparently she’s not afraid to be aggressive. then two guys who don’t talk much. oh, three i guess.

so, i get there in the morning, i log in to the various places i need to be logged in to, i grab a job, i work on it, it goes back to the cust. service person, and i work on the next job. something can take 15 mnutes, and another could take 2 hours. it’s busy work, in short, and i do maybe 9-10 jobs a day.

another thing that’s annoying is you have to keep track of your time – obsessively. you write it down on the sheets in each job folder AND there’s an activity sheet you fill out every day with how much time you spend on everything. it’s kind of dumb.

so, it’s definitely not my dream job, and i wouldn’t feel so bad about leaving sometime in the very near future. i’m waiting to hear back from SCSU to see if i have an interview, and then if i don’t get that one, i’m searching full force.

but, it’s much better than target, and it pays much better too. 🙂

*jaw drop*

well wonders never cease.

i woke this morning, did my bathroom crap, got dressed, walked out to the kitchen, and there, sitting on the table, were flowers, chocolate, and a card!!

😮

i nearly fell over!

and my camera came today! an all around, excellent valentine’s day!

the one with the book

When I was young, you would be hard pressed to find me on any given evening without a book in hand. If I wasn’t doing homework or other such nonsense during high school, I was most likely holed up in my room, speed-reading some youth novel like sweet valley high or a thriller by John Grisham. In second grade, you weren’t allowed to rent books from the “adult” section of the school library, which I thought was the most atrocious thing ever (mostly because I wanted to read little house on the prairie books), so I checked out the thickest books with the most words in the kids’ section as many times as possible (hoping they’d get the hint, maybe). My bookwormish attitude was well known, and I was top reader many times in school, always got the book-it! Pizza pin full, and two boys in my class even timed me reading once (unbeknownst to me) and were utterly amazed at the speed at which I read.

But I haven’t read for fun in a long time. Oh, I tried. While I was in college, I would have to read the assignments, which meant I really didn’t feel like reading for fun, but I would inevitably pick up a book and read it. Sometimes I got lucky, mostly in chick lit, and I did have fun reading some, but in the end, they all end the same and follow the same progression in the story: intro, issue, angst, climax, end. I do enjoy CL to an extent, but sometimes a person can only enjoy so much.

Then there were the books that I pretended to enjoy, but were much too much work to get through, and in the end I didn’t really enjoy them. For instance, the wheel of time by Robert Jordan was good in theory, but after reading 5 books, each 800+ pages in tiny print, there has to be one heck of a plot to keep me plodding along. I’ve been reading book 6 now for about 8 months, and I haven’t picked it up in maybe 3. I think I’m done.

But school has finished, and no longer are my evenings filled with readings about comm. theories and how to weasel your way out of a libel suit. So I have started reading again, and variety is truly the spice of life. I just finished a wayyy too depressing memoir – liars’ club, until they bring the streetcars back, Bruce Campbell’s new book, and three books by bill Bryson.

I don’t know if it’s possible to get burnt out on a genre, but it’s possible Robert Jordan did it for me. Even though I love robin McKinley’s books with all my heart, it may be a while before I pick one up again. For now, I’ve focused on Bryson’s witty writing about his travels as well as other books Amazon recommends me so I don’t get burnt out on his writing.

Anyway, I forgot how much fun it is to delve into a book you aren’t obligated to read or don’t feel you should like. I do have a tendency to finish all books I start, even if they are the suxors majorly, but I can’t bring myself to finish the wheel of time. It will just have to sit there.

Reading is fun again. I know because I think about what I would rather do – dink around on the internet, watch TV, or read my book, and the book gets priority; books haven’t gotten priority over the internet or TV in a really really really long time.

This is invigorating to me, because reading truly is the muse for writing. How else do you learn a craft but through apprenticeship? Reading is apprenticing a writer. By reading different writers, you learn how to hone a sentence, proper grammar and punctuation usage, and how to create a voice. Wanting to read is the next step to me wanting to write, which, I’ve learned, is what I’ve wanted to do all along. Remember when you wanted to learn how to read when you were little, maybe 3 years old? I wanted to learn how to write much more than I wanted to learn how to read. But you cannot have one without the other, and my excitement for reading again excites me.

With that, I really have to get to my book.

banks

tcf has been pissing me off lately (well, they’ve pissed me off a lot over the past 4 yrs, this is the most recent issue). i paid for my camera thru paypal, and inadvertantly paid with my checking acct., not my credit card. TCF let $1500 fly through, even though i probably only had $300 in there or something like that. why would they approve that?? incidentally, i got $230 in overdraft fees, which was probably their ultimate goal.

anyway, i read on their site this morning, that if you want your checkcard to be denied when you use it with no money in your acct., you need to write and request this. DUMB.

so, i’m shopping for a new bank. what are your banks’ policies on overdrafts, their rates, are they any good? have you heard good things about any bank in particular?

fading

I bought applesauce the other day, which must have prompted my subconscious to dream about the apple trees in the backyard of the house I grew up in. to which I woke up and thought, oh my, we DID have apple trees. A lot of them. We had two baking apple trees, maybe five soft, eating apple trees, and a huuuuge crabapple tree right outside the kitchen window that was good for climbing and from which my sibs and I cut slips of apple blossoms to take to school with a wet Kleenex and baggie wrapped around the cut ends. I baked my first apple pie with apples from those trees, and ate the tiny crabapples that were sour and quick eating.

Which made me think, what else has slipped from my memory of the Austin red house? I don’t want to lose the first 14 years of my life, but suddenly I will remember something, after it has been dislodged from my “forgotten” files by a similar experience in the now. Mostly little things, like the apple trees.

There was also the layout of the house, and for some reason I had forgotten the shoe closet and foyer, how you walked in the front door with its windowed top half and sculpted frame and bottom, and flung your shoes directly into the shoe closet straight ahead of you. There were actually two closets on top of it as well, filled with my mom’s stuff.

The bar over the kitchen entrance where my mom hung clothes on hangers while she folded clothes, and where all my siblings and I hung from and swung.

The bathroom light bulb, bare in the small room with the string to pull. No switches. There was also no shower, just a bath, and an odd (well, odd to me now) vanity/linen closet thing in the small room. And the yellow and black tiles around the bathtub.

The kitchen floor, which was beat up, worn out, and tearing up from years and years of use. I think half the tile on the floor needed replacing; you could see the floorboards.

The back room and back back room. The back room housed the washer/dryer, winter coats, and a very large poster of Bogie and Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca with the policeman on the airstrip. The back back room was nothing but junk; a place where things went to die. When we moved, I think a lot of the stuff in this room went into the trash. The back back room also was where the entrance to the cellar was. It was a large door you hauled up and you walked down a flight of cement stairs into a dank, dark, lightless room of stone. We went there only during tornadoes. But, there was a door to the outside in the back back room, which proved useful more than once during hide and seek or tag.

The corkboard in the living room; now why would anyone put a piece of corkboard above their couch in the living room? We never pinned things on it. It was just there, a piece of cork living in the living room. The built-in entertainment center (or so it seemed) was opposite the cork, and it had a place for the TV, VCR, turntable, movies and books, as well a sliding door that was a gateway to my father’s many LPs. the encyclopedias also lived on the bookshelf that lined about a 2-foot wide space up to the ceiling to the left of the “entertainment” center. And the carpet was atrocious, a hideous, flat, poop-colored brown that was never really professionally installed and so had ragged edges.

The closet upstairs that was deep and held many treasures, as well as clothes. The stairway banister at the top of the stairs with its up-down ladder-like bars – and those stairs – the metal edged stairs that everyone fell down at one point and still remain alive and well today.

The pump house, a small white outlying building that was built over the well and contained the pump, and behind which we took our wet garbage to compost and our dry garbage to burn.

The raspberry patch amidst the small trees to the north of the house. A few years there were strawberries there as well. Sometimes next to the white garage, wild blackberries or blueberries grew, and when they did we would pick them.

On the backside of the garage was the firepit and the small fortress of bricks that my dad had attained somewhere. Whenever we had a bonfire, out came the old seats from a van my dad used to own, and we would sit in the seats and watch the fire burn to embers.

It’s striking, really, remembering something you had forgotten long ago, put in the “unimportant” part of your brain. But really, how unimportant is it? My past isn’t unimportant, and as each year creeps by, I slowly forget more and more about the first years of my life that were mainstays at the time. Sure, vivid memories remain of big events from my youth: vacations, birthdays, almost catching Santa Claus. But what is slowly fading are the everyday events that should stay with me. Like the apple trees. When I woke up from that dream, I couldn’t believe that they had been filed in my brain as unimportant. How unimportant is having your own apple orchard (basically) growing up? That’s a big deal, and something that I would kill for when looking to buy a house now. I just hope that as I get older, triggers can jolt something in my brain that will have me remember something trivial in the past but huge now. Now I understand the importance of writing down or dictating what you remember of your youth – bringing importance to the unimportant.

superbowl commercials

ok, so i didn’t watch the superbowl. i didn’t watch the commercials. but, i read wil wheaton’s blog, and he referenced good commercials, so i looked at them.

and this one is hilarious!!!

democratic prez potentials

it all comes down to this question:

are americans more racist? or more sexist?

personally, after reading MANY backwoods comments on the SC Times messageboard and perusing fark convos, i think a black man has a better chance of becoming president than a white woman.

the one where kate is relatively content

well, as content as i can be in this freezing weather.

the high for tomorrow is -3. that’s the high! i hate being cold.

i watched the weather last night and the dude was making such a huge deal about it being so darn cold and how it’s as cold as the ’70s and all this stuff. now, i am relatively young compared to the weather guy, and the only ’70s year i got to experience was ’79, but i know for a fact it has been as cold as this before in my life. isn’t there usually a week or so of frigid temps every winter? kinda like that week in july where the hot is so unbearable even i put on the AC for a while?

and speaking of cold and hot, here’s a thinker. you know when people ask if you’d rather have hot or cold, and everyone and their neighbor replies, “cold, cuz i can bundle up!!! heeheehee :-D”? not a very convincing answer if you ask me. they’re still technically comfortable. so, if you were to be put naked in the antarctic or the sahara, which would you choose? sweat to death or freeze to death? i’d sweat, personally. which i haven’t been doing a lot lately in this dumb, cold state. i need to move to arizona!