Friday, November 30, 2007

First big snowfall?

I keep hearing about all the snow that's coming out way later today. Luckily, I am headed to St. Paul this afternoon and will be in class tomorrow until 1pm, so here's hoping the roads are good on both trips. S is planning to come with me, too, which alleviates a lot of stress. He's not protective, per se, but he says he does worry about me when I drive alone. I don't know what he's going to do next semester when I have to drive even more than I do now; maybe buy a laptop and bring his homework along?

I am quite excited for the first real snow that sticks. I'm looking forward to skiing...

Thursday, November 29, 2007

It's the most wonderful time of the year

I'm going to take a bit of a break from working on finding out if all the Dewey Decimal numbers in the chapter I'm editing are correct (oh how it breaks my heart to stop doing a task I so enjoy...) to report on some very excellent customer service I experienced recently.

While at the local mall last night with S, we were doing some Christmas shopping for each other, saying, "Oh, I like that" and then just buying it to wrap later (no surprises from him, I guess). We wound up at the Gap and S was looking to see if they still carried the argyle sweater he liked the last time we were there. Well, they were all out of the color combo he loved, but they had the blue left. Except not in his size. The young sales ladies were incredibly quick to leap into action. S expressed that he really liked the Gap's argyle better than any other argyle anywhere this season, so I knew that I wanted to get him the sweater if it was possible, but I also knew that is all out, and it might be impossible.

Three phone calls and a 'really big favor' later, they are holding a blue argyle sweater in the right size at the Gap at the Shoppes at Arbor Lakes for us to pick up on our way to the cities tomorrow afternoon, and we were already planning a stop at the Shoppes. Yes, three phone calls, and Gap's normal holding time for items is one day, but the salespeople at both stores were feeling generous during the holiday season, I suppose. Yay for that! Now, here's hoping they really are holding the sweater...

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Making a list

I've made my Christmas shopping list, and already have a few items ordered. I would like to be done with everything at least a few weeks before Christmas, and considering I don't have too many names on my list this year, it should be fine. My dad is always a stumper, and I'm at a bit of a loss for S this year, too, what with his birthday being so close to to major holiday.

I'm trying to do as much as possible online, but I have a few things to get from Barnes & Noble, which should probably be done sooner rather than later. Maybe on Sunday after I'm officially done with class I can devote some time to being an elf...

Monday, November 26, 2007

Too much to write

What with this being the last week of the semester, the week after Thanksgiving, and also kind of a hectic week on the GA front, I have too much to write here. Mainly, in between compiling the works cited for the professor's textbook, writing a draft of my paper due Saturday, and editing my portion for my group's PowerPoint presentation on the value of the Minnesota Orchestra Library, I've been de-stressing by playing lots of Nintendo Wii (my sister bought one to call her own after S got us all hooked on it after borrowing his cousin's console for a few months). I have also successfully now re-viewed the entire P&P miniseries along with my most excellent boyfriend, and I am pleased to report that he actually enjoyed it. Yes, my boyfriend is a Mr. Darcy fan! Not only that, but I have managed to get S into my mystery obsession, so now in the evenings we debate whether we are going to watch an episode of Poirot or Inspector Lynley. Aww, yeah.

Now, to do some reading for fun before packing it off to bed for the night.

Monday, November 19, 2007

It's that season again...

I think I have a cold, because I've been sneezing a lot the last few days, and today at work I just feel crummy. Really tired, kind of hot and cold, and just generally yucky. I only have three hours left of work, though, and one more break, so I'm going to tough it out. It's kind of a bummer, but it's going to be a short week with Thanksgiving. Yay!

And boo for creepy weird guys at the library.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Delayed gratification is better anyway

S and I got to celebrate our anniversary on Friday after I met with my professor. We took the River Road to Dinkytown and ate at the Loring Pasta Bar. I had seafood spaghetti and S had orzo with asparagus and artichokes. We had tiramisu for dessert, and oh, it was fabulous. We got to hear a bit of jazz, too, as the band started playing as we were finishing up our drinks. It was a great time, and we just got to talk and have fun. Plus, the food was super yummy! I want to go back sometime soon, maybe with my cousin Simon and his wife Eve, as Eve mentioned Simon hasn't been there. Are you up for that sometime in December, Simon? A photojournal of the night:

First, I gave S my present to him before we left for the cities. I got him two mugs made in Japan, so we can have matchy mugs when we drink our coffee. He liked them and seemed impressed that they are really Japanese!

Next, S thought I looked cute while driving. Maybe that's why he tags along with me so often when I have meetings and classes in St. Paul?

S at the restaurant, enjoying his Irish coffee, which was more Irish than coffee, if ya know what I mean. The servers kept topping him up with coffee, though, so that was great.

Me looking dreamy. S took a bunch of these.

The guitarist took a while to set up, and S wanted to snap a photo of his gear for his cousin Nate. They were a good jazz combo.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Trials and tribulations

This morning was registration time for both me and S. We both had our course schedules all figured out, but of course, it didn't go off without a hitch.

I register at 6am, so I was up at 5:45 trying to login, to no avail. Our house's internet access was down, and so was, it turns out, all of Charter High-Speed in our service region. So I had to wait until I got to work (early) in order to attempt it, also to no avail. Turns out the system was down! Ack! So at least I wasn't the only one who couldn't register and who lost some sleep over Kateway's lack of response.

Then, I went to register for my dear S because he was on the radio during his registration time. I added all of his courses to a list with no problems... then, I got an error message. He needed special permission for one of his Social Studies Teaching courses. No problem, he said, when I called him, because he knows the professor and would see him later today in class.

A little later, on my break, I tried logging in to Kateway again, and it worked! A miracle! Except when I went to register, I didn't have the necessary pre-requisite for one of my desperately wanted courses. Ugh. So, I called the department for a second time, and the lovely person in the office helped me out by giving me the e-mail of the instructor so I could beg to be let in. So, I at least got into Readers Advisory Services, but Services for Children and Young Adults is a big question mark right now. Here's hoping the instructor can help me out.

Then, S called a bit later to say he ran into the professor he needed to talk to, and apparently, he doesn't need to take that course until his Education Block of courses in the fall. Yippee! One less class to take for S next semester. Fingers crossed that I can be so lucky.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

And now for something different

Occasionally, as part of my job, I get to drive and make the delivery of items to a handful of branch libraries. It's rare, but it's a good change of pace from working in circulation/distribution at a busy public library. One of the best parts about the drive is definitely being out on the open road and kind of marvelling at the loveliness that Minnesota has to offer, even when it's partly cloudy in November. I managed to snap a few good photos on my last drive.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Shot to bits

Anniversary plans got completely obscured by homework needs yesterday. S had a group meeting last night for a presentation today, and then tonight he has to work for his political science professor, calling for the next SCSU survey and I have a boatload of work to do for my professor and reading to do for class on Saturday, plus polishing my paper. So, I guess we're going to try to go out tomorrow night instead, when S tags along with me to St. Paul. I'm thinking we could go to fancy sushi at Saji-Ya, or try the Loring Pasta Bar, or possibly Staccato.

S did send lovely roses to work, though:

Here's to another two excellent years together.

Monday, November 05, 2007

One of those songs

I caught part of This American Life last night while I took a bath, and at the end of the story about Jason Minter, whose mother was murdered when he was a kid, they played a cover of "It's All Right To Cry" from the "Free To Be... You and Me" 1970's kids album. The cover was sung by a female vocalist, and was just a simple piano accompaniment. I googled and googled and gave up. Finally, today I tried iTunes music store, and it came up under "It's Alright To Cry." Artist? Moufette. No idea who that is, but I really liked the song. Except that iTunes wouldn't allow me to download just that song, only to get it if I bought the album. Previewed the other tracks: not so hot. Back to googling. Canadians to the rescue! Only $.99 Canadian for the song, so I jumped. The song is so great, it's worth the $1.05 American.

Not just yet

With our two year anniversary of dating fast approaching (Wednesday), I'm sure there are a lot of people who expect me to get a "sparkler" like the photo here. Well, I know not to expect that, but isn't it a beautiful ring?

When I told a co-worker this morning that I was excited to see what S has planned, she asked if I thought I would get a proposal. "Oh, no," I said. "S needs a laptop more than I need a ring." Which is true. "But," I joked, showing her my left hand, "he did give me this," and showed her that S, with his artistic skills, had drawn a ring on my finger. It's about a 5-carat asscher cut, by my estimation. My co-worker wasn't as amused as I was.

When I told my sister that our two-year anniversary was coming up, she said, "Two years? It seems like a lot longer than that!" I guess, in a way, it does.

S has assured me that he has a number of things planned, and part of the plans began yesterday with a very thoughtful, sweet mix CD that went from the time we met until the time we started dating, titled, "Anniversary, Part I."

Now, for my own anniversary plans...

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Me, the guest lecturer, and some fashion photos

It's been a bit since I last posted some photos on the blog here, so today I promise a little bit of fashion photography in addition to the summary of events.

You may or may not remember that I had plans to buy a new winter coat, and I heard a little birdie say it was going to get colder next week, so I bit the bullet and ordered. I wasn't too sure on the sizing, so I ordered both a 4 and a 6, figuring that with J. Crew's great return policy (can return online orders at the stores) I could just return the one that doesn't fit on one of my many trips to St. Paul and back.

So this morning before I left with my sister Andrea to go to campus and talk about singing for her Speech Science course, I checked my order status at J. Crew and it said my package was out for delivery. Ooh, trés exciting!

I went with my sister to her poetry class which meets before her Speech Science course, so I got to listen to some student poems, and her professor is one of my former professors, so it was good to see good old Bill and hear a student's poem about the St. Cloud Superman (a dude who wears a Superman costume and stands on street corners waving American flags).

Next was Speech Science, and I answered the professor's questions to the best of my ability, and sang a bit of the Jake Heggie version of "Dixie" for the class. It was fun to talk to the students and answer their questions, and the professor then made the class come up with ideas for clinical practice based on things I said. I talked a lot about breathing and movement and how I think about the sound production. My talk will also be on their test next week, so I hope they paid attention. Hah. Mostly, it was easy and enjoyable and I got a few laughs, so that felt good.

Once Andrea and I got home after a lunch of Chinese buffet and a bike ride, I was sitting here and the doorbell rang. It was the UPS truck! I unpacked my booty, and tried on the size 4 first. It fit, but would be an uncomfortably tight fit with my bulky wool sweaters, so I knew the 6 was going to be just right. It was:

Me in the backyard, black J. Crew Double Cloth Lady Day coat lined with Thinsulate. I really like the colorful, silky lining.

Showing a bit of the lining. The Thinsulate is between the wool of the coat and the silky lining. Now for a cold snap to test out the actual warmth. Today is too beautiful to know if it will be warm enough for a Minnesota winter, but I have a feeling I'll know soon enough if it will keep me cosy through February.