Wednesday, May 29, 2013

on errors and amateur editors

On a weekly (if not daily) basis, I find random errors in different articles, headlines or other published work.  I'm not talking about typos in emails or other casual correspondence - we've all been there - but rather errors on news (or yes, gossip) sites.  It drives me bonkers.. anyone else bothered by them?

In the headline below, is it a solider or a soldier?  (Sidebar: what a horrible article that is!)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Bike the Drive: Ride Recap

Late last week I realized that Memorial Day Weekend stretched before me, an open three-day canvas with very few plans.  I was thinking about this as I rode the bus to work one morning, and happened to see a sign saying that Lake Shore Drive was going to be closed for Bike the Drive.  Scott was going to be out of town (in New York, at his sister's Sarah Lawrence graduation) and I thought I might as well make some plans.  So I decided to register.  I don't have a bike, but a quick Google search found that I could rent one for only $20.

I mentioned it to my mom, who replied enthusiastically that it sounded like fun, and over the course of a few emails back and forth, an idea was formed and my parent's decided to join me.   They are regular bicyclists, with their own bikes and corresponding gear.  On my mom's birthday a week ago, they rode 13 miles for fun and exercise.  (In other words, they were much more prepared than me).

I rented my bike on Saturday, and rode home.  The Lake Shore trail is gorgeous and scenic, and it's so fun to do by bike.

My parents arrived later that evening, and after an evening spent chatting (and more than one vodka tonic, I must admit) and a walk around the neighborhood, we went to bed relatively early.  The next morning, we were out of the house around 6:30am, and hopped on Lake Shore Drive to join the other bikers.

The ride went as far north as Bryn Mawr, and as far south as the Science & Industry Museum.  All in, it was a thirty mile round trip ride.  I haven't ridden a bike in probably five years (with one minor exception!) so I was proud of myself.  I am also thrilled that my parents rode it with me... it wouldn't have been nearly as fun doing it solo.

We all agreed that it would be a fun family tradition, and hope to do it again next year!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Scenes From A Week: May 27

Memorial Day Weekend is my favorite weekend of the year, and not just because it is my wedding anniversary.  It's the official kick-off of summer and I couldn't be more excited for this one.  

The week was filled with chill nights, the kick-off of my Diet Coke Detox, and a 30-mile bike ride with my parents.  Here's to more fun and family, and less Diet Coke.  :)

obsessed with La Croix as of late, especially peach pear
an indulgent bath, complete with chick-lit, sweet cherry
wine, and a lush bath bomb.
a mid-week joyride in scott's new truck
watermelon juice at native foods cafe
seven miles in to a 30 mile ride
five of my favorite people (apparently i missed the black-fleece memo)
anniversary date night at our favorite sushi joint

Friday, May 24, 2013

Interesting Person Interview Series: Tawnia

Tawnia is friend of almost a decade (whaaat) going back to our days as some of the only ladies (with a few notable exceptions!) working at the ITS Helpdesk at the University of Iowa.  She was my wingwoman (and I hers) on many-a-night-out in Iowa City, and so many of my college memories include Tawnia.  

Tawnia's interview, after the break!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Scenes From A Week: May 19

This week felt more like summer than spring, and the things I did during the week sure reflected that.  I loooove this time of year!

lunch al fresco
90 degrees!
sign of spring - bridges being raised to allow sailboats to pass
first corn cob of the year
sweet note from scottie ("snacks in fridge") telling me that he packed me
snacks for work - baby carrots, strawberries, etc.
late night walk and starbucks run (for decaf tea:)
an original monet
matt & kelly at a wedding saturday night
fresh strawberries

Friday, May 17, 2013

Interesting Person Interview Series: Kelli

Today I'm thrilled to share my interview with my amazing friend Kelli.  Kelli and I have been friends for over fiften years (!!) and though we haven't lived in the same area since high school, we've been able to stay tight through the wonders of the internet. :) 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Quote of the Day: Off Switch

"What I really hated, of course, was my mind. There must be an off switch somewhere, but I was damned if I could find it." - David Sedaris

on Abercrombie

Mega-retailer Abercrombie and Fitch is in the news this week (and last week, too, but I haven't had a chance to blog about it) for some crazy soundbites from 2006.  The CEO said in a magazine interview:

“In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids.  Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely."

To some degree (and I may get some flak for saying this) I understand that as a business model.  Each brand (fashion or otherwise) has a target audience, and while I would say that many of the targets are - publicly atleast -  less asshole-ish, they have them nonetheless.  And while I find the tactic deplorable, they have gone after the "cool kids" to try to hit the trendsetters, all the while carving out a significant slice of the market.

So the quote about didn't bother me as much as the other things I've learned about the brand.  Did you know that women's sizes only go up to a size L or pants size 10 (because, explicitly or implicitly, you're not cool if you wear a larger women's size)?  Did you know that unlike other major US retailers, they don't donate their un-sold clothing, but instead they destroy it (because poor people aren't as "cool")?

I can ignore a CEO with a big mouth and dumb ideas.  I can also take my business elsewhere.  I will never, ever shop at AF.  And I will encourage everyone in my life to do the same.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Quote of the Day: Insane

"I enjoy talking to you. Your mind appeals to me. It resembles my own mind except that you happen to be insane" - George Orwell, 1984

The Year of Kelly

I was thrilled and honored to host a bridal shower for my sister-in-law-to-be, Kelly.  We held it this past Saturday in Cedar Rapids, and it was an awesome occasion.  We invited my grandma, aunts and girl cousins, along with Kelly's mom and sisters.  We had guests from Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois and the love in the room was evident.

I got home to Cedar Rapids on Friday night after a quick drive home (and a rendezvous with Matt and Kelly at the "World's Largest Truck Stop".  (Sidenote: after doing the CR-Chicago trek for six years now - and longer if you count the times I did it before moving to Chicago - I can't believe I'd never stopped there before.  It's funny and kind of insane). The party was at my parent's home, and they had it gleaming top-to-bottom, inside and out.

To start the morning off, I got my hair cut (and then styled - yesss).  I'm basically obsessed with doing this before parties because I'm pretty horrible at hair.

After getting that squared away (had to take care of my priorities here) I came home and put the finishing touches on the details with my unofficial co-host, my mama.  Basically I got all of the credit, and she and my dad did all of the work :)  (They'd deny that, but it's true nonetheless).

The guests arrived shortly thereafter, and we drank champagne and mimosas, ate wraps, caprese skewers, fruit-kebobs, cheese and crackers, pesto-deviled eggs and delicious gourmet desserts.

Remember these babies?

After our guests arrived, we played "the NEAR-lywed Game" which was a huge hit.  My mom and I brainstormed a list of about 20 questions, which I asked Matt ahead of time (and taped his answers, using the camera feature on my iPad).  We my mom then put them together in one file with cute breakouts in between each question for easy play-back.  At the party, I asked Kelly the question, and then after she answered, played Matt's answer to the same question.  It was a riot.  (In a hilariously unexpected twist, their answers were eerily similar, leading to huge laughs from the shower guests as everyone realized how crazy their compatibility actually is).

Of course, no bridal shower is complete without a "showering" of gifts for our bride-to-be.  Kelly was gifted some beautiful and generous gifts, including a Crock-Pot!  (As you may recall from posts about Rank Family Christmas, a Crock Pot is basically a rite of passage in this family, and I'm not sure that their marriage would be officially official without having one.  Luckily, she is now the excited owner!) 

After the shower, the boys were allowed back in to the house for some fun (and pizza and beer).

I won't tell you what time the party finally ended that night.  Ok, I will - almost 2AM.  Worth ever minute of lost sleep though.  Time with my awesome family is both rare and treasured.

Events like this weekend make me realize how fortunate I am to be a member of the Rank family... and how darn excited I am for October.  I literally cannot wait until Kelly is my official sister, and an official member of our family!

Cheers to Kelly, and to Matt, and to the fun ahead!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Quote of the Day: Special Occasion

"Don’t save something for a special occasion. Every day of your life is a special occasion" - Thomas S. Monson

on Minnesota

I am thrilled and overjoyed by the news that Minnesota is poised to become the 12th state that allows gay couples the right to marry.  I actually saw the news on Instagram first, as my cousin Anne posted a photo congratulating Minnesota on the huge leap in the right direction.

I was obviously thrilled about this, but there were a few things that kind of made me chuckle.

I think it's so indicative of the times.  I didn't see the news on the news, or even on the internet.  I didn't even see it on traditional social media (Facebook, Twitter, a blog, etc).  I saw it on a photo-sharing site.  The hashtags labeling the post were #equality and #loveislove.  Totally apropos.

I was absolutely pleased when I saw the news, but I won't say that I was all that fired up by it.  I recognize that it's a significant victory, but it all just seems so inevitable now.  If you don't agree with gay marriage, you are on the wrong side of history.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Quote of the Day: Crazy Edition

"We're the kind of crazy people wish that they could be" - Hunter Hayes, I Want Crazy

(Ps: totally loving this song right now.  I listened to it on repeat while I was cleaning my kitchen tonight... and yes my neighbors love me).  (No they do not).

Scenes From A Week: May 12

It was a wonderful spring week, and an even better spring weekend.  A busy blogger leads to infrequent blogging, but it is what it is, eh?

I should be an editor - I find stuff like this almost every day.  Did you mean
Blackhawks NBC 5?
A seven year anniversary spent apart, but was sweet to reflect on
nonetheless.  Best seven years everrrrr.
I hosted a bridal party for my favorite bride this weekend (more on
that later but for now, suffice it to say that it was - and she was - fabulous.
My mom and grandma, posing in front of my Grandma's
65 year old punch bowl.  She received it as a wedding
The Rank girl cousins.  They came from Minneapolis, Dubuque, Des Moines
and Chicago to celebrate our newest Rank-girl inductee.  
Anne & Jane
Here's to a slightly slower week, with more time to stop and smell the tulips :)

Saturday, May 11, 2013

seven years

Seven years ago today, Scott sent flowers to my sorority house with a note that read "Kate, will you date me?"  I happily accepted and I have never - NEVER - regretted that decision.  Happy seven year dating anniversary Scott!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Interesting Person Interview Series: Lindsey

Today I'm excited to share my interview with my awesome "cousin-in-law" Ms. Lindsey Special!  Lindsey is Scott's cousin on his dad's side, and she's just plain cool.  She's engaged to an equally cool guy, and they are getting married this summer - Scott and I are psyched to watch them make it officially official!  

After the jump! 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Scenes From A Week: May 5

Another busy week in the books - and can anyone believe that it's May?  Crazy!  Scott is renovating our guest bathroom, and coming along nicely - should be done (and unveiled) later this week!

my personal contractor

82 degrees at 8:20pm - woohoo!
cinco de mayo inspired tuesday night happy hour at
my friend pam's adorable apartment
tulip season is my absolute favorite
homemade veggie bowl - rice, steamed spinach, green beans, carrots,
red peppers and avocado. 
donuts from "glazed and infused" were brought to the office on friday
(danger zone)
new favorite beer - grapefruit! 
gorgeous trees blooming
on a saturday afternoon walk i passed the sidewalk leading
to my first chicago apartment.  so many memories.