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Walk Up, Not Out Backlash

March 16, 2018

The internet wouldn’t be the internet if people (mostly white, suburban moms) didn’t find something to get completely and utterly worked up about. This week the outrage is in response to the Walk Up, Not Out movement.

This past Wednesday, kids all over the world held a walkout in their schools for 17 minutes in honor of the students and staff who were killed in the most recent school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. 

In response to that, a 6th grade teacher in Virginia, Jodie Katsetos, offered an alternative to the walkout. It was not meant to take the place of the walkout, it was simply an option and could be done alternatively or it could coincide with the walkout. In other words, the two actions were not mutually exclusive.

Of course, the internet doesn’t understand that (remember all the fuss about the Black Lives Matter signs and hashtags?). No, the internet needs to have a clear enemy and this week it was a 6th grade teacher who suggested that maybe kids try to be more inclusive and nicer to each other. 

Many women equated the message to victim blaming and then used examples of abused children being kinder to their abusive parents; domestic abuse victims being kinder to their abusers; rape victims being kinder to their rapists… etc, etc, you get the message. 

The problem with that analogy is that until Nikolas Cruz started shooting, the kids were not abuse victims. To my knowledge, he had not been abusing the students prior to the shooting. 

That’s splitting hairs of course.

My daughter participated in the walkout at her school, with my encouragement, even though I hold no expectations that it will make a difference. We’ll also be walking at the Capitol on March 24th. Again, not because I think it will make a difference – there will be more school shootings, but because I want to encourage my daughter to participate in civic matters that are important to her. 

I’m not against gun reform, I think we can do a lot to tighten up the laws we have about buying guns. We could enforce a lot of the laws we already have, raise the age to buy a gun to 21 and do all kinds of other things that probably won’t make a bit of difference. If a person is hell-bent on shooting up a school, they’re going to get their hands on a gun or 20. 

You could make owning a gun illegal and there will still be school shootings. 

Let’s take it a step further… Imagine we’ve managed to round-up all the guns, that they simply no longer existed in the United States, a guy hellbent on killing students can still rent a Ryder truck and fill it up with ammonium nitrate like Timothy McVeigh did in Oklahoma. He didn’t kill 17 people, he killed 168.

All without a gun.

We need to figure out what happens to these kids that makes them want to kill. 

It’s probably naive to think being kinder to someone could prevent such a thing, but it’s a start. Cruz was a kid who had nothing left to lose. He had fallen through the cracks a long time ago and I suspect when his mother died he lost it. 

That doesn’t justify his actions in any way. 

We have a mental health problem that is a major part of our school shooting problem. Gun laws might make it harder to get a gun to do the deed, but someone who is mentally deranged enough to want to kill multiple people will find another way to do what they want to do.

We need to address both issues. Criticizing those who offer alternative discussions or ideas isn’t going further the discussion, it’s going to shut it down… again.

Walkout, and walk up. 


Events The Walking Dead Things I Really Like

Did The Walking Dead Jump the Shark?

February 25, 2018

If you’re a fan of The Walking Dead, you might wonder did The Walking Dead Jump the Shark with it’s recent plot twist?

***Spoiler Alert***

If you haven’t seen the mid season finale from December 2017 of the Walking Dead (Season 8, Episode 8), you’ll want to see that before reading on as I will be talking about one major spoiler.

Okay, if you’re still reading, then you know that it was revealed that Carl was bit by a walker. There have been theories that he was bitten by a Whisperer (apparently they are humans that dress like walkers), but Scott Gimple, the show runner dashed that theory and said that Carl’s story is coming to an end. He will succumb to the bite.

If you’re a fan of the show, you also know that Carl is still very much alive in the comics. Of course, the show has diverged from the comics multiple times – Carol dies in the comics while Sophia lives on, Daryl doesn’t exist in the comics and Andrea is still alive and shacking up with Rick. Those are just some of the differences between the comics and the show, so it’s not unheard of for the show to stray from the comics.

Did The Walking Dead Jump the Shark?

Jump the Shark is in reference to Happy Days when Fonzie jumped the shark. It was a ratings ploy, an over played one at that, and the show was never the same. It puttered on for a couple more years, but that was the turning point for the show. The term has been applied to any great show that has declined in quality following a gimmick used for ratings. 

One could argue that the great Glenn under the dumpster fakeout death scene was when The Walking Dead jumped the shark, and I might agree.

Carl was an annoying character in the early years – spoiled, impolite, even outright rude at times. He grew up and stopped being as annoying. However, he grew up faster than the was supposed to. Time passes much more slowly in the land of The Walking Dead, and Chandler Riggs grew up too fast. His character is only supposed to be 12 or 13 now, not almost 20. 

Carl’s relationship with Negan is an important part of the storyline in the comics. I was looking forward to seeing how that played out. It may not have been a believable storyline with an adult Carl. Carl, as an adult who watched Negan kill Glenn and Abraham, wouldn’t be inclined to have a relationship with him, he’d simply do all he could to kill him so his people could lead a better life.

Carl was turning into a leader, and that was fascinating. Watching how the children who survived the initial apocalypse would have been an interesting arc as far as I am concerned. Of course, I’ve always been more interested in how they rebuild, now in how they wage war. 

I believe the death of Carl is a mistake. Sure, it frees the show to explore avenues out of the realm due to to the comics, but Carl remained the hope of the show, along with his sister Judith. We want them to reach adulthood.

For now, I’ll keep watching, I think there is still life in the show, and maybe the shakeup of show runners will change the trajectory of the show, but I’m not convinced The Walking Dead hasn’t jumped the shark. 

Join my Facebook group Talking the Walking Dead where we discuss the show live.


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Enter to Win Tickets to the Minneapolis Home and Remodeling Show

February 8, 2018
Enter to win tickets to the Minneapolis Home and Remodeling show

I’m giving away 4 pairs of tickets! You can enter to win a pair of tickets to the Minneapolis Home and Remodeling Show by leaving a comment below and guessing how many Almond Joys (leftover from Halloween) are in this wide mouth Mason jar. It’s actually a Ball jar but no one knows them that way.

The Minneapolis Home and Remodeling Show takes place February 16th – 18th, 2018 at US Bank Stadium. So, if you didn’t make it to the Super Bowl, this is almost as good and you get to see the stadium (that I will forever refer to as the Dome until someone comes up with a cute nick-name for it. Calling it by the place I built with stupid overdraft fees doesn’t make me happy at all). 

If you’re thinking of doing any remodeling, DIY projects or just want to see the latest in home technology, then you’ll want to check out the Minneapolis Home and Remodelers Show. 

Minneapolis Home and Remodeling Show

Shop, compare and save with more than 350 experts in remodeling, kitchen & bath, décor, flooring and more!

  1. Get renovation & décor tips from Karl Champley, winning carpenter of HGTV’s Ellen’s Design Challenge Fri- Sun. on the main stage sponsored by Slumberland Furniture.
  2. Get attainable & aspirational design tips from John Loecke & Jason Oliver Nixon the masterminds behind Madcap Cottage on Fri & Sat. on the main stage sponsored by Slumberland Furniture.
  3. Tour three unique Designer Rooms to see the latest trends in both indoor and outdoor living spaces.
  4. Discover how to transform your backyard with a Pool Renovation, sponsored by Outdoor Innovations.
  5. Sit & relax in the Welcome Lounge, sponsored by Plants & Things USA, where you can grab a beverage & test out the latest in outdoor furniture.
  6. See how chairs get a second life in this year’s Upcycle Challenge and bid to take home your favorite! Proceeds benefit Habitat for Humanity ReStore.
  7. Want to test drive your next project? See the Demo before you Reno exhibitors to find innovative products you can try out at the show.

Hero Day: Fri., Feb. 16 all active & retired military, first responders and teachers receive free admission with valid ID.

Feb. 16 is Public Servants Day: all government employees receive free admission with valid ID.

Enter to Win Tickets to the Minneapolis Home and Remodeling Show

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Enter to win tickets to the Minneapolis home and remodeling show

Guess how many “fun size” Almond Joys, leftover from Halloween, are in the jar. Leave your answer in the comments and the four guesses who are closest and followed me everywhere, will win a pair of tickets to the show. The tickets are good for any day of the show. 

*There are now 2 fewer “fun size” Almond Joys in the jar. 

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Did This is Us Live Up to the Hype?

February 5, 2018
Did This is Us live up to the hype?

What do you think, did This is Us live up to the hype? Was it even possible to live up to all the hype that had been created for the beloved show? 

Before we go on, there are spoilers in this post. If you haven’t seen last night’s episode of This is Us, back out and read something else.

Okay, now that that’s out of the way…

This is Us aired immediately after the Super Bowl, which meant it aired close to 10pm CST. I don’t know about you, but that’s late for me. I want to watch the local news through the weather and then I’m in bed. 

I understand why NBC wanted to have the huge audience that was sure to tune in following the Super Bowl, but after watching the game all evening, I really wasn’t ready to focus on the show. In fact, it turns out I missed a lot of important details and ended up having to watch the episode again today.

Did This is Us Live Up to the Hype?

In this episode of This is Us, we finally witness the death of Jack, the beloved father to Randall, Kate and  Kevin and perfect husband to Rebecca. We’ve known for some time that Jack died in a fire, or as it turned out, the result of a fire. It was widely speculated that he would die because he rescued Kate’s dog. While it was not the direct cause, the act didn’t help any.

Jack dies from a heart attack brought on by all the smoke that did damage to his lungs which in turn put stress on his heart. 

Like all This is Us episodes, the story jumps around a timeline that takes place in several times in the past, the present, and now the future. I missed the future reference. I saw it, just didn’t put it together.

I have a love/hate relationship with This is Us, I love the story, I love seeing the underbelly of this nearly broken family, but I have issues with it. They may be unfounded as the story unfolds, but based on the info I have now, I have some problems with it.

All the kids are messed up – Randall has anxiety, Kevin is an addict and Kate has issues about her weight. All of things one would expect children who suffered trauma would experience. The problem is they lost their dad when they were 17. I’m not saying losing a parent at this age isn’t devastating, it is at any age. But 17 years with two parents who not only love the kids but love each other is a rare thing, no matter what timeline they’re in.

These kids had 17 years of being raised by a great dad and attentive and loving mother. Presumably, when they lost their dad, their lives went to shit. 

Except Kate already had issues with food, Randall already had anxiety and Kevin was already an asshole. 

Not that decent parents couldn’t have raised fucked up kids, it does happen, it just seems like the show is trying to lead us to believe the kids are messed up because their dad died (and their mom went on to marry his best friend, though I don’t know that we know when that happens).

All of them are beautifully broken, and yet they manage to lead successful and full lives. I get it, it’s TV. People live in homes that the regular person could never afford on their TV salaries, daycare is never an issue and the bills are always paid. I get it, I really do. 

I don’t think the show lived up to all the hype. Sure, it was sad, but I didn’t cry and I didn’t feel morally crushed. I was not heartbroken. Mostly, because I knew it was coming, and had for nearly two years. I was fairly well prepared for it.

With that in mind, I will say that it was an excellent episode. Mandy Moore did an excellent job portraying a woman who just had her life turn upside down but was unable to break. It simply wasn’t an option, she had to go on. I’m actually more interested in seeing how she copes than the kids for the moment. Yeah, I want to dig deeper into Kate’s disordered eating, but I want to know how Rebecca remains standing. Actually, I know, I’m just excited to see it portrayed in all it’s gritty glory.

Seeing Kevin and his mother reconnect was also satisfying. Kevin continues to be the third wheel when it comes to the kids, at least in relation to their mother, and that is a relationship I would like to explore. Kate has Toby, a man who seems to have it all and then some. He’s thoughtful, caring, loving and I bet he puts the seat down when he’s finished. Randall has Beth, a woman not unlike his mother who is strong as nails. She keeps him grounded and centered so when he falls, like Kate, he has someone to catch him. Kevin doesn’t really have anyone for that because he pushes everyone away, even his mother. Seeing them reach out to one another is refreshing.

I’m looking forward to tomorrow night’s episode if only to see how the grief is managed. I wasn’t satisfied with how Kate’s miscarriage played out, though I concede they probably aren’t finished dealing with that grief, just as Kate still hasn’t grieved the death of her dad.

So did This is Us live up to the hype? In my book no, but then there wasn’t a way it could. And if it had there’s no way the show could continue for much longer. It was an excellent episode that gave many of us a modicum of closure. 

And let’s not forget, Jack is still there. We’ll be seeing him in flashbacks, like we have for the last two years, going forward. Which is how it should be. As long as we have our memories, the people we love never leave us. 

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Some Thoughts on the Super Bowl

February 5, 2018
Some Thoughts on the Super Bowl

Now that it’s over, everyone can go home. Obviously, I have some thoughts on the Super Bowl and all the surrounding festivities and celebrations that took place in the Twin Cities metro area.

Some Thoughts on the Super Bowl

First and foremost, it was pretty awesome. The weather couldn’t have been better. Sure, it was cold and it snowed a few inches, but that’s what we do here and visitors can say they endured a true Minnesotan Winter. Make no mistake, it could have been a lot colder.

The cities involved – Minneapolis, St. Paul, Bloomington and all the other places – put on a great show.

I didn’t go downtown Minneapolis – mostly because of parking, and all the people, and because I don’t care, but if I were into sports it would have been fun. It looked like there was a lot of stuff to do if you are into sports.

I didn’t go to downtown St. Paul either but that’s because I’ve seen it – a lot – and have been to the Winter Carnival many, many times. And, because it was cold. Still, I did watch the news and it all looked awesome. Bravo too whoever was in charge of that, you did a great job.

I did go to the MOA and that is a well oiled machine. I go there most mornings to get my steps in during the winter months so I watched the transformation from mall to media outlet. In just a couple of weeks the mall was completely transformed into a sports venue of sorts, and that’s following the holiday season which was also a major transformation. Today, only hours after the Eagles won the Super Bowl, the Mall of America had mostly returned to being a mall.

The fans were pretty cool. Out of town fans were pretty easy to spot, they were the ones wearing hats, mittens and several layers of coats and vests. All of them had new Sorrel boots. Everyone seemed to behave themselves. The Eagles didn’t trash Minneapolis, though they trashed their own town which is interesting… 

The celebrities were pretty cool too. Except for Justin Timberlake. Don’t get me wrong, he’s cool enough even though he projected a huge image of Prince onto a sheet at his half time show. It was close enough to being a hologram so…. I couldn’t hear most of the songs he sang during his show, but then I don’t know them anyway.

It was an okay show, certainly not the worst, but it didn’t hold a candle to the performance Prince put on in 2007. And that isn’t even where I take issue with JT. No, I’m irritated that he went to my Target on Friday and signed a bunch of his albums and then told fans the secret code to get them. That was fine, it’s that he didn’t actually go to my Target on Friday, he went on Monday and it was all staged. I know they do that, I just thought he was different. 

I didn’t get to have Jimmy Fallon over for dinner, he ended up going to some home in Champlin. I suspect it was because he didn’t get Minnesota Nice or because I goofed and said he was from California instead of New York. I have no idea how I made that mistake, I watch the show every night and it says it in the intro. 

All in all, it was a pretty positive experience. Of course, I live in St. Paul so my life wasn’t impacted that much by the festivities. I’m glad we got to show the football fans and the teams a good time and what a real winter is like and I hope many will return to spend more time here and enjoy all that this state has to offer. However, for now, everyone can just go on home. 

Blogging Contests Dumb Shit I Do Events Minnesota Minnesota Nice People Recipes Things I Really Like Winter

An Invitation to Dinner for Jimmy Fallon

February 1, 2018
Tater Tot Hot Dish

So apparently Jimmy Fallon is inviting himself to dine with some Minnesotans while he’s here for his live Tonight Show following the Super Bowl. He’s not from here so he wouldn’t know that we don’t just invite ourselves over to someone’s house for dinner. In fact, we have to be invited a minimum of three times before we can accept anything. 

However, this is a special occasion and all so it’s probably okay to overlook this faux pas. 

The daughter and I were watching the news last night when we heard about this. Her immediate response was “why would he want to come here for dinner?”.

Which is a typical Minnesotan thing to say.

With that in mind, I decided to send Jimmy Fallon an invitation to dinner at our house. Of course in Minnesota dinner takes place at noon and lasts until late evening – with half of that taking place at the door trying to say goodbye. 

I did not link to my recipe for tater tot hot dish in the email but am here for those of you who want to know what hot dish is all about. 

I’m a little worried the folks in California won’t understand Minnesota Nice. 

I do have a signature in my email, linking to this blog, and I’m hoping I don’t end up in junk mail. So if you wouldn’t mind tweeting this post to Jimmy, that would be greatly appreciated, unless you have something better to do of course.

Here’s his Twitter @jimmyfallon

An Invitation to Dinner for Jimmy Fallon

Hi Jimmy,


I heard you were looking to invite yourself to a Minnesotan’s house for dinner while you were here for the Super Bowl. I guess you do that sort of thing in California. My daughter doesn’t think you’d want to come to our house because we live way over in St. Paul and nobody in Minneapolis ever comes over here but I told her you put your pants on just like everyone else and why wouldn’t you want to come for dinner?


So yeah, we’d love to have you come for dinner. It’s a little short notice and all, but it’s no trouble.


You said you wanted to try out the local cuisine – whatever that is – but I can pull a Tater Tot Hot Dish out of the basement freezer for you. You said you don’t want a salad, and that’s fine. I’ll still have one for you if you want to try it. I made a lovely Lime Jello Salad, you’ll love it. I can make some bars too, I know I have a box of Betty Crocker somewhere.


I’ve been told I make a fair Tater Tot Hot Dish. It’s not as fancy as Margie’s down the street, but that’s because she uses both peas and beans in hers. That’s too much green for me. I prefer peas and corn. Margie also puts that paprika on top of hers, but she’s originally from Wisconsin so what do you expect?


Don’t tell Margie I said that about her hot dish, we still have to work together at the Booya this summer and it would be awkward if she knew how I really felt.


When would you like to come over? Anytime is good for us, but we got bingo down at the casino on Friday night so we’d have to wrap up supper at about 5:30. Will that work for you? Otherwise we could do dinner on Saturday or Sunday. That’s noon in case you don’t do dinners out in California.


Sunday would be nice, we could watch the game. I mean it’s not like the Vikes were gonna win if they got in anyway.


Will you be bringing your friend Justin? It’s no trouble if you do, I’ll just have to get my son Alex to come over and get a folding chair out from the garage. It’s really no trouble at all, just let me know.


Are you allergic to cats? If you are we’ll put the cats in a room. They don’t get along very well so if you know that cat whisperer maybe you could bring him along instead of your friend Justin? We could really use his help with these dang cats. You must know him right? He’s got all those things in his ears, so he must be from California.


Oh, my that was rude of me. You can bring both of them but let me know so I can have Alex get another chair from the garage. It’s really no bother.


Well I look forward to meeting you, even if it is on such short notice.


Jennifer Brown

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Where to Eat in the Twin Cities While Visiting for the Super Bowl

January 29, 2018
Where to Eat in the Twin Cities While Visiting for the Super Bowl

Wondering where to eat in the Twin Cities while visiting for the Super Bowl? You’re not alone. If you’re here for the sport thing, there are a million sports bars in Minneapolis, St. Paul and the surrounding suburbs that make up the Twin Cities. Sports bars with walls of TVs to catch all the pre-game excitement of Super Bowl LII. However, there’s more to dining than buffalo wings and jalapeño poppers.

Or in the words of our very own Prince:

…But I’m here to tell you, there’s something else….

If this is your first time to these Midwest cities you probably won’t know where to go to get a good meal at a decent price. And there are so many great places that you won’t hear about hanging with sports fans at the US Bank Stadium or the MOA (that’s what the locals call the Mall of America). 

Of course, you’ll need to cross the river for the ones I’m about to tell you about. Don’t get me wrong, there are some great places to eat in Minneapolis, I just can’t think of any I’d want to brave the crowds and traffic for. Come over to St. Paul, we have parking!

Where to Eat in the Twin Cities While Visiting for the Super Bowl

The Commodore

79 Wester Avenue

St. Paul, MN 55102


The Commodore Bar is where all the hep cats hang out. Originally where people like F. Scott Fitzgerald got their booze on during Prohibition when folks were forced to drink in the speakeasy located in the basement. The bar has been renovated several times in the last 100 years but always retains its stunning beauty and local charm. The food is excellent.  Nothing on the menu will disappoint and the wait staff is exceptional. If you want to step back in time and experience real glamour, check out the Commodore.

W. A. Frost

374 Selby Avenue

St. Paul, MN 55102


W. A. Frost is owned by the same folks as the Commodore so the prices are similar and the food offerings are similar American cuisine and of course, the service is stellar. The difference is the ambiance. Both are lovely, just have completely different vibes. Jeans are perfectly acceptable, but you wouldn’t stick out in a cocktail dress or suit either. W. A. Frost is just a short walk up Western Avenue from The Commodore. If you really want to fit in with the locals do some bar hopping in sub-zero temps. That’s what F. Scott did.

The Lexington

1096 Grand Avenue

St. Paul, MN



The Lexington is another former Speakeasy. Originally built in the thirties and remodeled just last year, it has long been a neighborhood place to be and be seen. Enjoy an Old Fashioned at the bar while waiting for your table. The food is supper club staples like popovers, Steak Diane, and their signature pot pie. Just want a little nibble before the big game, try their relish tray, it is to-die-for. 

Looking for something a little less glamorous? How about these fine establishments:

The Nook

492 Hamline Avenue S.

St. Paul, MN 55116


The Nook is another neighborhood bar. It’s family friendly and is famous for its Juicy Lucy – as featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives with Guy Feiri. It’s right across the street from where Joe Mauer and Paul Molitor went to school. If you aren’t too stuffed from the great burgers, head downstairs for a little bowling. It doesn’t get more Minnesotan than The Nook.

Groveland Tap

1834 St. Clair Avenue

St. Paul, MN



Another neighborhood joint to visit when you want a beer and a burger. Known for their onion rings and cheese curds you might feel like you’re in heaven or at the State Fair. Nope, just Mac/Groveland. Large beer selection and they’ve just added a decent wine selection.


2051 Ford Parkway

St. Paul, MN 55116


Another neighborhood bar where you’ll find plenty of great beer and good pub grub. Be warned, the folks at Tiffany’s are Packers fans… Not really sure what else there is to say.

As a Minnesotan, and mostly as a St. Paulite, I don’t venuture out of my comfort zone. I’ve been visiting these six establishments since before it was legal for me to drink. If you know of any that belong on this list, be sure to leave a link and possibly your review in the comment section.

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How to Fit in When Visiting the Twin Cities for the Super Bowl

January 29, 2018
How to Fit in When Visiting the Twin Cities for the Super Bowl

If you’re wondering how to fit in when visiting the Twin Cities for the Super Bowl, I’ll save you all kinds of time. You can’t. Sure, you can dress warmly (though that is the first clue you aren’t from here), and you can even adopt a quasi Fargo accent, you still won’t fit in.

Hell, I was born here and have lived here for most of my life and I’m not welcome in many of the neighborhoods (one of which I grew up in). The truth is, Minnesotans make their friends in kindergarten and those are the people they socialize with for the rest of their lives. You can marry your way into the group, but you better not get divorced because even if you were a lifelong member of the group, we will dump your ass faster than you can say “ya sure, you betcha”. We have to because we want to talk behind your back and as Minnesotans we can’t do that if we’re bowling with you every Friday night.

How to Fit in When Visiting the Twin Cities for the Super Bowl

Minnesota Nice

We’re not really that nice. I know the media is pushing Minnesota Nice like we’re this warm and welcoming place, and we are to our friends we met in kindergarten, but not to strangers. And if you came to Minnesota from another state you are a stranger. People move here from out of state and live amongst us for decades and they remain strangers to the locals. There’s nothing you can do about it, it’s the rule.

We are Polite

However, we are polite. In fact, we’re considerably more polite to the strangers than our kindergarten friends. We’ll hold the door open for you and we’ll offer to jump start your car when it’s too cold for the engine to turn over. We’ll even help push your car when it gets stuck in the snow. That’s just common courtesy and while we may not be particularly religious, we have that thing called Lutheran Karma (really, it’s a thing, I just made it up) cuz we know our car will get stuck at some point.

Dress Accordingly

If you’re coming here from the east you can probably acclimate to the cold weather and dress appropriately, except it’s a lot colder. If you’re coming from the south or the west –  it’s not going to work. Dressing appropriately for a Minnesota winter does not mean wearing three layers of down coat, three pairs of socks and your brand new Sorrels. It’s going to be chilly here this week. The forecast has the temps ranging from -8°F to 29°F, that’s an open jacket, no mittens and no hat for Minnesotans. College males will dress in shorts this time of year. The only time you wear all of those layers is when you are ice fishing and that’s because you’re standing on a few feet of ice and that can get a little nippy. 

The Skyway

Part of the reason we don’t wear all those layers is because we have a Habitrail system in both cities. The Skyway is a system of above-ground walkways that connect the buildings in the downtowns. You never actually have to go outside. They can be easy to get lost in, however. Every now and then there are sightings of old Deadheads who visited in the 90s for a Grateful Dead concert and never found their way out. It might have been the acid or it might have been the skyway system. We’ll never know so be careful. 

The Long Goodbye

In Minnesota, nothing lasts longer than saying goodbye, except for maybe the losing streak of the Minnesota Vikings (too soon?). We say goodbye for longer than we visited. If you stop someone in the skyway and ask for directions we will chat you up. We’ll ask where you’re from and then we won’t be able to say goodbye without at least three attempts. It’s another one of those rules that have been in existence since time immemorial. It just is, go with it. Trying to force an early goodbye will just make it take longer. Thankfully they close the skyways at 10pm on weeknights, 8pm on Saturday and 6pm on Sunday. 


If you’re not from here you’re probably better off using the light rail system, an Uber or taking the bus. We recently had over a foot of snow and the plowing still isn’t completed, at least not in St. Paul. It’s not worth the accident, insurance increase and the long goodbye you’ll have to have outside in -8°F after exchanging insurance info. If you do plan on driving please study this primer on Minnesota Driving. It covers it all from parking, getting stuck and what to put in your emergency kit. It attempts to tackle pedestrians and their right of way, but that’s always a heated discussion. 

It won’t help you fit in, but it will help you understand why we are the way we are. Pick up a copy of How to Talk Minnesotan by Howard Mohr, or better yet, leave a comment for a chance to win a copy. You won’t get it before the Super Bowl, unless you want a digital copy (checks to see if they have digital copies – they do not, bummer). Still, it’s pretty funny and explains a lot. Of course, unless you fall in love with a local you’ll probably never come back here so no need really, but feel free to if you like. I’ll choose a random person from the comments as winner of this pretty funny book.







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This Is Us and that Damn Crock-Pot

January 26, 2018
This is Us and that Damn Crock-Pot

First of all — Spoilers!!! If you haven’t seen or heard about This is Us and that Damn Crock-Pot yet then just move on to another post. You might want to try my Reuben Balls Recipe, it’s pretty awesome and you don’t need a Crock-Pot to make. 

If you’re like most people and you’ve seen the most recent episode of This Is Us, then you’ve already thrown out your Crock-Pot and maybe even your Instant Pot. That’s what (mostly) women around the United States have been doing since it was revealed that it was a faulty Crock-Pot that started the fire that probably kills dad Jack, though we won’t know for sure until after the Super Bowl when it will finally be revealed – for sure this time.

I have to admit, when I saw the show last Tuesday night my first reaction was that sales of Crock-Pots were gonna tank. I even posted that thought on Facebook, and even got a little heat for revealing the ending. I don’t think I did, but people get pretty upset about such things so who knows. 

Anyway, I don’t think the folks at NBC put a lot of thought into the Crock-Pot plot twist. Clearly they did not anticipate that women all over the country would be afraid to use these time saving devices.

Crock-Pot has even had to make a statement ensuring that their devices are safe to use.

Of course, it is safe to use. The trick is to unplug the damn thing when you’re finished with it. 

Listen, I am the first person to blow this sort of thing way out of proportion. After my son was born I was sure the house was going to catch on fire or blow up. I wasn’t sure how but I made sure to check that the coffee maker was off and unplugged along with every other appliance in the kitchen and made regular trips to the basement to see if I could smell gas. I could, and even had the plumbing and heating folks come out to check it. Hey, I can’t help it if my nose is more sensitive than their gas detecting equipment. 

Thankfully my ex and I got a divorce and I could move out of that ticking time bomb that is still standing as beautifully as ever. Also, thankfully, I had my thyroid tested and got my medication adjusted so I am not nearly as obsessed with these things anymore.

Anyway, I get wanting to throw out the Crock-Pot, but here’s the thing… It’s fiction. It was also at least 17 years old. Who uses any kitchen appliance for 17 years? No one, they had their kitchen remodeled and yet they still used a used Crock-Pot that they knew had a faulty switch?

See, I don’t buy that. Rebecca, the mom, who is just as high strung as any mom I have met would have never allowed something like a broken Crock-Pot into her house with three infants. It just wouldn’t happen.

And what kind of neighbors give a mom-to-be a broken Crock-Pot? Horrible neighbors, that’s who.

Also, Rebecca just left it on in the kitchen and went to bed. Not only that, she left the mess from the Super Bowl party down there. Mom’s don’t do that unless they’ve been shooting some heroin or drank a box of wine. Moms, especially the moms like Rebecca, clean up the kitchen before going to bed. It’s scientifically impossible for her to go to bed with a mess downstairs.

And then Jack cleaned it up. I know there are men who do stuff like that, I just haven’t ever met one. Of course, they had to have Jack do the clean up so he could leave the Crock-Pot plugged in. Because – Rebecca wouldn’t have left the damn thing plugged in.

I have a love/hate relationship with this show, so many elements are just wrong. Or, maybe I just can’t relate to them, I don’t know. Even when the characters are horribly broken, life is still pretty good for them. I’ve started that posts numerous times, but frankly the show is so beloved, I don’t want to be shunned for not towing the line. So, I’ve kept my mouth shut. This might be the proverbial straw – not unlike the TWD episode where Glenn ended up under a dumpster for a few weeks.

I don’t know if I will watch the episode after the Super-Bowl. Not because I am worried about it being a gut punch or getting my heart broken. I’ve known since last season that Jack dies, it was just a matter of when and how. Frankly, I’d like them to just move on. 

Jack is fine, but he’s just a guy. And a dead guy at that.

Anyway, if you haven’t already, don’t throw out your Crock-Pots, they are perfectly safe. Just turn them off and unplug them when you aren’t in the house. 

Seriously, does anyone actually fire up the Crock-Pot and leave for work? There’s no way I’d ever do that, even before seeing This Is Us. 


Events People politics

Should Oprah Run for President?

January 8, 2018
Should Oprah Run for President

Last night, after a rousing speech at the Golden Globes, everyone was like should Oprah run for president? Last night the answer was an enthusiastic YES! with fists pumped high in the air. Hell, last night, after that speech, I would have voted for her. In fact it reminded me of a speech given at the DNC years ago from a first year sentator….

It was an amazing speech, but I’m not so sure Oprah should run for president.

Don’t get me wrong, I am sure she could win. She has more name recognition than even Donald Trump, and I think she has more money than he does. 

But do we really want another celebrity with absolutely no political experience in the White House? 

I love Oprah, who doesn’t? She’s an amazing woman who worked her ass off against some great odds to be one of the most influential people of all time. I’ve never met her, but she seems genuine and I would bet she’s never bragged about grabbing anyone by the pussy. She does amazing things for people all around the globe and is someone little girls and boys can look up to. I can’t think of a negative thing to say about Oprah.

But that doesn’t mean she should be President of the United States. 

At least not yet. Have her go the way of Ronald Reagan, Sonny Bono or Shirley Temple or even Al Franken, Clint Eastwood and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Let her run for more local office first and then she can try her hand at President. While I believe she would be much more willing to and able to reach across the aisle than any of our recent presidents, it would be helpful if she had some experience at a more local level. 

The thing is, Oprah does more good doing the things Oprah does than she could ever do as president. Washington is awash in gridlock and red tape. I suppose she could buy a car for everyone to entice them to get to work, but that could get spendy. Even for Oprah.

It’s still early, there’s plenty of time for democrats to find a viable candidate to run against Trump. Let’s not be hasty and throw the first celebrity with name recognition and money in the ring. The election is too important.


Books Dumb Shit I Do Events Music Pets Things I Really Like

It’s Prime Day!!!

July 10, 2017

It’s Prime Day, that’s just like Christmas in July, or Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa or having your birthday in July if you normally don’t have a birthday in July. Prime Day is an awesome way to get amazing deals on all the things you want. Amazon offers huge discounts on all the cool stuff, the kinky stuff, the toys we want for our pets, and on the stuff we need

The deal is, you have to be a Prime member to get the deals. Sign up for your Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial now!! That’s right, you can try it free for 30 days and if you don’t like it you can quit and never pay a dime!! Already have Prime but want to give it as a gift to someone else? You can Give the Gift of Amazon Prime too!

What do you get with Prime? All kinds of great things, but mostly you get the opportunity to do a little drunk online shopping without much guilt the next morning because on Prime Day, everything is discounted.

Here’s what you get with Prime – free shipping on everything you order. Not just that but usually two day free shipping. You can also get free same day shipping in eligible zip codes. Prime Now offers FREE two hour delivery for things you just have to have right now – you know like this and this. You also get Amazon Restaurants – they’ll bring the food to you!, Prime Video – unlimited streaming of movies and videos, Prime Music – unlimited streaming of millions of songs, Prime Photos – unlimited photo storage. Got a Kindle? You get stuff for that too!  And, there’s so much more! You can see all of what you get with Prime here

So what are some great things to get on Prime Day? 

If you don’t have one already get an Instant Pot. You won’t regret it, I promise. Go get one now, you’ll thank me. 


the princess saves herself in this one

Adulthood is a Myth: A Sarah’s Scribbles Collection

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End

You Are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth

You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life

Get Your Sh*t Together: How to Stop Worrying About What You Should Do So You Can Finish What You Need to Do and Start Doing What You Want to Do (A No F*cks Given Guide)

The Big Life: Embrace the Mess, Work Your Side Hustle, Find a Monumental Relationship, and Become the Badass Babe You Were Meant to Be

The Warrior Goddess Way: Claiming the Woman You Are Destined to Be

The Secret Life of Fat: The Science Behind the Body’s Least Understood Organ and What It Means for You


The Lux Puff

100% Natural Arabica Coffee Scrub

Flat Top Kabuki Brush

Bath Bombs Gift Set

For the Home:

Amazon Echo – Black

Wood Grain Essential Oil Diffuser

Smart Plug Outlets

Amcrest Full-HD Video Security System

And that’s just a sample of the fun stuff you can shop for late at night after a few too many glasses of wine. I’m speaking theoretically, of course. I’ve never been so irresponsible.