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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. 

Driving/Parking

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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Blogging Huh Minnesota Minnesota Nice People Things I Really Like Winter WTF?

#SKOL

January 15, 2018
#skol

Skol!

That was a helluva game last night. It looked like a typical Minnesota Vikings end of season. They held a 17 point lead agains the Saints for most of the game and then they didn’t. There were seconds left on the clock, no way they could win, but they did.

I don’t need to recap the game, you probably saw it when it happened and if you didn’t, you’ve seen it a hundred times by now.

I’m not even a sports fan, let alone a football fan, but it was…. amazing. 

It’s difficult not to get swept up in the excitement, but we’ve been here before, many times, and … sigh…. we know how this is likely to end. And we know better. And yet…

This season, and especially last night’s win, reminds me of when I am stuck on a level in Candy Crush. I’m not going to purchase any boosters and some of the levels are simply unwinnable without boosters. Eventually the game realizes you aren’t going to pony up any cash and lets you win because who knows, you might in the next really level. 

According to Berg’s Fourth Law of Media/Sports Inversion – A Minnesota sports team may be a contender until the moment the local media actually believes they will be contenders. At that moment – be it spring training, late November in the NFL season, or week 72 of the NHL playoffs – the season will fall irredeemably apart.

It goes for more than just the media, when the folks start believing, I mean REALLY believing, that’s when it will inevitably fall apart.

We’re a group of people who thrive on the negative, as explained here in Howard Mohr’s How to Talk Minnesotan: The Power of the Negative

Certainly, we’ve been doing this since before the Vikings joined the NFL as an expansion team in 1960, but it has served us through the incredible, heartbreaking, frustration and excruciating losses we’ve witnessed in the last 58 years.

I gave up on the Vikings, like I usually do, in the preseason when they lost to the Seahawks. In fact, I declared I was going to make the Seahawks my team going forward. I did this – not because I am a Seahawks fan, but because I was doing my part to ensure the Vikings started winning.

I watched two games in the regular season, both times they lost. In fact, I remember hoping they would lose. Again, doing my part to help them win. When I stopped watching, they started winning. I haven’t seen a game since and even last night’s game I didn’t actually watch until I though they were going to lose and then it was my job, as a Minnesotan, to endure the loss – live.

I have a friend who is not a Minnesotan, he’s from Florida of all places, but has made his home here for several decades. As the Vikes racked up more and more wins he started speculating about the Vikings in the Superbowl, numerous times. Each time I had to remind him that he was going to jinx the whole thing if he didn’t knock it off. I think he thought I was joking, I was not. I’m hoping the fact he is a Floridian will appease the football gods, but for all I know we’re going all the way to lose because someone, who isn’t from here, speculated too soon in the season.

Like all Minnesotans, and some people from Wisconsin, I’ve been let down by the Minnesota Vikings for as long as I can remember. And I do remember. I remember exactly where I was when they lost in ’74, ’75 and ’77. I was roller skating (because there’s not much else for a pre-teen to do in MN in the winter months. I take that back, there is, but we didn’t ski either) and the disappointment was palpable when they lost the Superbowl each time.

I do not come from a sportsminded family. My father would have sooner have bathed the dog after being sprayed by a skunk than take my brother and me to a football game, or any sports game for that matter. I do not understand football terminology or know anything about offense or defense. I just know that the Vikings will make it to the very precipice and then lose in such spectacular fashion – sort of like the Saints lost last night – and once again crush our dreams.

That the Superbowl is in Minnesota just makes it even worse. 

Of course, the reality is that this is just too good to be true. They shouldn’t have won last night, it just isn’t what they do. I really don’t know what I am supposed to do for the next week. I’m in unchartered territory and it terrifies me. 

I won’t say it, but there is a part of me that is beginning to believe that this might be our Candy Crush.

Of course it won’t be, the Vikings will lose next Sunday, and all will be right with the world.

 

Dumb Shit I Do Huh infographic

Breaking Down my Fitbit Steps

April 26, 2017
breaking down my fitbit steps

I love my Fitbit. It motivates me to get off my ass and get out and do some walking. That’s a great thing and it’s helped me to lose a some weight I’ve been trying to shed. I can’t say enough good things about the Fitbit.

Except, it doesn’t break down my Fitbit steps.

I do, on average, 16000 steps each day. I walk each morning, usually 3 to 4 miles. If I didn’t I wouldn’t get my steps in because I sit at my desk all day. Aside from getting up to go to the bathroom, get a snack or get the laundry, I don’t get many steps. 

And yet, I still manage to get a lot of steps. 

The thing is, the Fitbit doesn’t differentiate steps. Arm movement (not typing, that doesn’t count) equals steps. I’ll take steps anyway I can get them, but the truth is I get a lot of steps from giving Ruby tummy rubs and doing other things that aren’t actually steps. Apparently, I gesticulate a lot. 

Huh Music People Reviews WTF?

Beyoncé and Red Lobster

February 9, 2016
Red Lobster Beyonce Formation

Evidently, Beyoncé has single handedly* increased sales at Red Lobster because of her new song Formation. Apparently, when he fuck her good, she takes his ass to Red Lobster.

No shit, those are the lyrics to her newest song (anthem, really) that she performed (I think) during the Super Bowl half time show this past weekend.

I’m not really sure if she performed it because the audio was so horrible and it was difficult to hear any of the musicians sing. It didn’t help that I was worried about Chris Martin’s back injury – talk about the show must go on! The man couldn’t stand up and yet there he was out there shouting or mumbling or whatever the heck he was doing while Beyoncé and Bruno Mars funked it up.

According to all news sources today, Red Lobster’s sales have increased 33% since the song Formation was dropped this past weekend due to these lyrics –

When he fuck me good I take his ass to Red Lobster, cause I slay

Look, I’m no relationship expert, I’ve been divorced twice, but if the fucking is good I should think one might want to reward the person doing the good fucking by bringing him to a restaurant that was actually pretty good. It doesn’t have to be Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse or McCormick and Schmick’s, but maybe Ruby Tuesdays or Outback Steakhouse? Hell, most of the guys I might reward with food after performing well would prefer Chipotle over Red Lobster.

I’m not sure what she means by “slay” either. According to the dictionary it means to kill someone or to impress someone. According to the Urban Dictionary it means – mercilessly fuck, or to do something awesomely well.

I think we can assume its usage is not in reference to mercilessly fucking anyone since it was he who fuck(ed) her good.

Let’s see if we can get some context from the next set of lyrics.

After she takes him out to get some shoes…

I might get your song played on the radio station, cause I slay
I just might be a black Bill Gates in the making, cause I slay

I’m going to make a leap and suggest she’s using “slay” in the do something awesomely well definition.

So I repeat, if she is doing so well, and I think we can all agree that Beyoncé is doing pretty well for herself, why not take her bae to a really nice place?

According to the internet, this song was also about all kinds of black empowerment, woman empowerment and other empowerments – It just went completely over my head during the Super Bowl. I am not the only one. Many people, mostly white, middle aged women who want to know what all the fuss is about, are asking on social media. So far has been construed as racism, because ….America.

I just thought she was channeling Janet Jackson and Rhythm Nation.

It’s not racism, most of the people who are questioning this song at all simply didn’t understand the lyrics (because they don’t make much sense at all – Red Lobster for good sex?!?!?!?!), or because they couldn’t understand the lyrics (slay).

It might just be generational rather than racism, but you can decide for yourself, here’s the original video with NSFW lyrics, the video gives it better context than the Super Bowl performance.

(*or maybe not, it could be Lobsterfest)

Events Huh Things I Really Like Things that piss me off WTF?

Is Glenn Really Dead? Processing the Episode Thank You of the Walking Dead

October 26, 2015

**If you haven’t seen last night’s episode of The Walking Dead then now is your chance to leave. I’ll be discussing major spoilers.

If you caught The Walking Dead last night, Season 6 Episode 3, you know that there is some question as to the death of beloved character Glenn. Glenn was pulled into a herd of walkers when Nicolas, the dumbass who tried to kill Glenn at least once on purpose and another time out of dumbassery, killed himself and fell into the herd with Glenn getting pulled down with him.

It looks as if, maybe, Glenn landed with Nicholas’s body on top of him. He could have scurried under the dumpster, allowing him to kill a walker and cover himself in decayed flesh to go unnoticed until the herd could move on.

I suppose it’s possible. Social media is suggesting that because Steven Yuen wasn’t on The Talking Dead following the show and wasn’t mentioned in the In Memoriam piece that he is still alive. Scott Gimple, writer and producer of the Walking Dead, provided a statement saying that Glenn’s story wasn’t over, that we’d see more of him in one way or another. This could mean flashbacks or dreams or that he’s still alive.

Hopefully the ambiguity won’t last too long.

My best guess, based on the show and the scene in question (not the comic) is that Glenn is dead. When the walkers started eating either Glenn or Nicholas there was blood spurting. If it had been Nicolas, who was already dead, there would have been no spurting blood. However, Glenn dies in a very different and spectacular way in the comic so maybe he’s still alive?

The writers and producers have strayed from the story line in the comic before. In the comic Sofia lives while Carol has passed away a long time ago. In the comic, Daryl doesn’t exist and Rick loses his hand (that might actually happen based on the cut he got in last night’s episode, though it looks as if he may not make it either).

What do you think? Is Glenn alive or dead? Will Rick get out of the hoard that’s surrounding him? If Glenn is dead what will happen to Maggie? She’s lost so much in the past few months this one she may not be able to recover from.

Huh WTF?

Depends Weekends?

January 7, 2014
Depends Adult Diapers for the weekend, Take the weekend on with Depends adult diapers, who wears adult diapers, Depends commercial about the weekend

Have you seen this commercial for Depends Undergarments? It’s the latest commercial for adult diapers that’s aimed at the younger Baby Boomers.

It’s a cute commercial with a woman who tries Depends Undergarments for the weekend. Because she is wearing the diapers she can do all kinds of things she wouldn’t otherwise do, I guess.  The sales pitch is to try Depends for the weekend. You know, for fun.

I’m not a Baby Boomer but only by a hair. My brother is a Baby Boomer so these ads are aimed at him, which I actually find amusing. But that’s beside the point.

Is anyone concerned that they aren’t telling us something? I thought I had at least until my late 70s before I had to worry about losing control of my bladder at times when I wasn’t sneezing (I blame my kids big heads) or reading a Christopher Moore novel.

But apparently not.

This commercial is disturbing on so many levels! She seems so happy about wearing a diaper and she’s young. I’d hazard a guess this woman isn’t any older than 55 year old, probably even younger. I’ve started online dating again and have set the age of guys I’m willing to date in the 50s so now I have to worry about changing their diaper? That really changes everything and they dating sites need to address this in the dating profile.

I’m a SWFADF! (Single, white, female, adult diaper free)

It wasn’t that long ago that my kid was in diapers (ok, it doesn’t seem like it was that long ago). I hardly want to start changing the diaper of some guy I’m dating.

Am I the only one frightened by these ads?

Huh Kids WTF?

What does the Fox Say?

October 10, 2013

By now you’ve seen this video called What Does the Fox Say.

It’s catchy, it’s well produced and it’s almost as annoying as that Friday video by what’shername?

I apologize if you haven’t seen this video before because now the song will be stuck in your head for near eternity. Or until another equally annoying song/video/meme comes along and kicks it to the curb.

 

 

When I first saw this video a few weeks ago I thought…catchy song and it’s perfect for preschoolers who don’t know their animal sounds yet. Yeah, there’s a weird furry vibe to it but most people won’t catch that.

I didn’t think much about the accuracy of the song because I just don’t really care. I assumed foxes didn’t make a sound or if they did it was some kind of hybrid cat/dog sound because isn’t that what a fox is? A hybrid dog/cat.

Seriously, what kind of animal is the fox?

Anyway, I don’t really care about that either but I did learn that a fox makes many different sounds and if you are curious about the sound a fox really makes (they don’t sound like George Clooney) then listen to this…

Huh People Things that piss me off

WTF?! Grocery Store Edition

March 27, 2011

I was floored this morning when I stopped at the grocery store to pick up some Mayo and some bread

Hellmans Mayo, Best Foods, when did the prices at the grocery store get so high, high cost of food, inflation

for the kids’ lunches. When the hell did Hellman’s (Best Foods for you guys in the west) start selling for $7!

Last month I picked up a huge jar on sale at Walgreen’s for $2.99. How could food prices go up so high in just one month?

This is insane.

Speaking of insane…

While waiting to spend a weeks paycheck on two bags of groceries I glanced at the magazine rack to learn that Kelly Preston is yet pregnant again. She’s 48 years old for crying out loud. Not that there is anything wrong with getting knocked up at the age of 48, especially when have enough money to take care of your new kid who won’t graduate until you are nearly 70, but seriously, who likes kids that much? She already has a couple, she knows what is ahead of her with diapers, sleepless nights, temper tantrums and all things babies, whatever she was smoking I want some.  Apparently this was a surprise to both Kelly and John. I wish them the best, pregnancy at this age has some risks to it so I hope everything turns out for the best and they have a healthy baby. I still think they are both nuts but what do I know.

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Huh Winter

Tulips? I don't think so

March 14, 2011

Jonathan Yuhas, my local weatherman at Kare11, said this morning* that by the end of the week we could see some tulips poking through the ground.

Spring in Minnesota, Kare11.com, Jonathan Yuhas, Minnesota weatherguy, stump the weatherguy, snow in March

I don’t think so.

Temps aren’t supposed to be higher than the lower 50s with most nights still reaching the 30s. It was 17 F this morning. I know a lot of you people in the rest of the country are having spring, but here in Minnesota it’s a crap shoot. Sometimes we get a spring and sometimes we go from winter to summer in one weekend. It sucks, I don’t know why I live here.

*Jonathan might have said by next week and it might rain which would make the snow melt faster. And in all fairness, I hadn’t had any coffee when I heard him talk about tulips.

*Update*

Shortly after I published this post I received an email from my esteemed Minnesota weatherman, Jonathan Yuhas, saying the following

Every year, no matter how tough the Winter, areas that face the sun all day will usually see the first tulip plants just popping through the soil.  It’s not the daytime highs it’s the angle of the sun heating the soil telling those tulips to wake up.  Many trees have already set buds and believe it or not things will be Springing up fast the next few weeks.  Metro lawns will green up fast this year because long winter snow pack did not allow a deep frost line so we should have green lawns by April 15 and lilacs usually bloom about Mom’s Day ( early May ).  Jonathan Yuhas  KARE 🙂

Obviously Jonathan is not a regular reader of my blog because he felt the need to point out when Mother’s Day is (like I don’t know), though he completely redeemed himself with the use of the smiley at the end of his email. I responded to his email with this:

Could you say that on my blog?

I wasn’t dissing you, just so you know. My backyard just doesn’t look anything like Kare’s backyard. But seriously, doesn’t it help if the snow is gone first?

Jen

To which he responded:

Hi Jen – I was hoping you could copy that to your blog, for some reason my would not take on your site and no worries I did not think you were dissing me – I have been in the biz a long time and I am flattered you would quote me on your site.  Yes the snow needs to be gone but you will be surprised by Thursday how much snow especially the sides facing the south is gone.  JY

So you heard it here fellow Minnesotans, the snow will be almost gone by Thursday. I will be taking another picture on Thursday to compare it to today’s picture. If I can’t see my grass, or at least the dog poop (I’m not expecting those 7 ft snowpiles from shoveling to be gone), I fully expect Mr. Yuhas to stand on one leg for the duration of his forecast on Friday (I don’t really expect Jonathan to stand on one leg during his forecast, he is far too respectable to do something like that, however, Pete has been known to do some wacky things and he could always make the new guy, Jerrid, do this as some kind of hazing ritual, I’m flexible, a shout out naming my blog would be way cool too).

Now that I think about it, Bea seems like the obvious choice for the shout out since she does all web related things. I wouldn’t expect her to stand on one leg during her segment because she is only shown at her desk and you can’t see her feet, but she could link to my blog from her blog.

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Blogging Huh

Questions That Are Too Stupid To Ask Google

February 4, 2011
questions too stupid for even Google, Stupid questions, Google doesn't know all the answers, People ask the dumbest questions

Image by snakepliskens via Flickr

You know that old saying “There are no stupid questions only stupid answers/people”? Well I am here to tell you there are stupid questions, a lot of them. Presumably the are asked on Google by stupid people and inevitably they end up on my blog.

Do redheads make good parents?

I get why they are here, I’m a redhead and I write a lot about parenting, but really, WTF?

Are redheads the product of incest?

Just eww.

Do redhead vaginas really have teeth?

I have written about vaginas but never did I mention the teeth.

What color should I paint my house?

Red

How old am I?

This came from the post I wrote when I realized I had aged myself a whole year. So, maybe it isn’t such a stupid question after all.

Where are my teeth?

I talked about my daughter losing her teeth, a lot, in fact way more than I should, but I imagine this came from some poor old lady who had left her teeth on the lunch tray at Taco Bell.

Can a dad bring his son to get his ears pierced?

Nope. Only moms can bring daughters to get their ears pierced, sons have to do it in the locker room. My daughter has had her ears pierced, let them close and then pierced again.

So you see, there are stupid questions. The internet might be filled with knowledge but most people are still doing really stupid things with it.

Huh

eHarmony Fail

August 24, 2010

A year ago I tried eHarmony. It didn’t work and I canceled my membership but occasionally they send me profiles in the hopes that I will read something that strikes my fancy. I could remove my name from their list but you never know, they might send me a profile that interests me. So far they have only sent me blog fodder.

In my profile I made it clear I am a humor writer. Writer being the operative word. It is only implied that I appreciate good grammar.

eHarmony

And then there is Steve

eHarmony

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