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2008 Winter Mix

I participated in Erica's CD Exchange again, this time with Winter as the theme. I held myself back from putting too many Xmas songs on there. I wanted to put all five Sufjan Stevens Holiday CDs on and Dave Matthews seven minute Christmas Song and a few Rat Pack Christmas tunes, but there's only so much space. The resulting mix is part Winter Depression, part Warm-up-by-the fire music which should be good to hear into February.

1. White Days - Juliana Theory
2. Just a Thought – Gnarls Barkley
3. You’re All I Have – Snow Patrol
4. Modern Day Prayer – Twothirtyeight
5. Come-on-a My House – Rosemary Clooney
6. Put the Lights on the Tree – Sufjan Stevens
7. I’m with You – Avril Lavigne
8. A Million Parachutes – Six Pence None the Richer
9. I Go to Sleep – Sia
10. What Child is This Anyway? – Sufjan Stevens
11. Slow Dancing in a Burning Room – John Mayer
12. Quicksand – Natalie Walker
13. City – Sara Bareilles
14. Wintersong – Sarah McLachlan
15. Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing – Sufjan Stevens
16. Song for a Winter’s Night – Sarah McLachlan
17. Falling in Love in a Coffee Shop – Langdon Pigg
18. You Will Be Mine Ain True Love – Alison Kraus
19. Bring the Torch Jeanette, Isabella – Sufjan Stevens

Go J.W. Smith!
My elementary school got an award last month for academic performance. 75% of their students are low income and 37% are Native American, yet their tests scores continue to be at or above statewide averages. I'm not sure if they had the same stats when I attended, but it really surprised me.
Anthony and I ventured to Minneapolis for Wicked last night. The night was great. Most of the bars near the Orpheum were full when we got there so, we ended up at Gameworks before the show for drinks and appetizers. Yummy margaritas and nachos.

Then we walked very fast in the cold wind to the theater. I had never been there and was pleasantly surprised by the gorgeous interior. Beautiful chandeliers and molding every where.

We were pleasantly surprised to be seated (in the second balcony) in chairs in a roped off area that looked like it was meant for wheel chairs. It was dead center and we had a fantastic view, as well as, comfortable seats and leg room. And we didn't have to crawl over people to get to them.

Once the show started, I was a bit distracted by how much the story had changed from the book, but overall it was a fun entertaining story.

The dancing was fantastic and the singing was wonderful. There were lots of laughs in the script and the actors really hammed it up too. Glinda played her role in a very "Molly Shannon" way.

And we only got lost once on the way back to St. Paul.
Candy Wrapper Purse

Look - the candy wrapper purse that Anthony got me in Mexico is being sold for $95 on the MoMA Store! Who knew it was so chic.
Squash Onion Galette

Squash Onion Gallet 003, originally uploaded by juliemaealbrecht.

It was so cold Sunday, I wanted to warm up the house with some baking.

I had some squash left over from making squash ravioli and a small frozen pie crust in the freezer.

I turned on the oven and thawed the dough under the vent (I know this pretty much ruins crust, but it wasn't a pie, it was squash so I didn't really care.)

I used a recipe that I found last year on Smitten Kitchen. But I did a much better job on it this year. I cut the onions smaller and was better at caramelizing them. Also, this year I am the proud owner of a cheese grater so, the cheese was much better distributed and not in big lumps.

I've also learned that if it says use fresh herbs and I only have dried, that the amount should be cut by at least half. And this year, I am much better at rolling out dough, which makes for a prettier presentation.

Last year's version

The smaller amount of squash and dough, made for a nice little lunch for me.

My roommate had made brownies for her football potluck and it inspired me to bake something sweet. I always have supplies for cookies on hand and decided to make some oatmeal chocolate chip ones. While my squash pot pie baked. I just substituted chocolate chips (half dark, half milk) for raisins in the recipe on the oatmeal lid. And since Anthony likes them chewy, I reduced the baking time a little.

I put a few in a box for home, some in the freezer for another time, some in a baggie for Anthony's house and a bigger box for at work. They got rave reviews from everyone!

Chilly Weekend
Saturday, I met Jessica for the planned Salvation Army shopping. I found some good shirts and some great Christmas stuff. Silver balls, white lights, pink glitter JOY banner and a silver tinsel wreath. It's looking like it will be a pink, silver and forest green Christmas. With a little turquoise thrown in for fun and because I already have it. Something like this:

Images from Blueprint Magazine December 2007, Me in 2006 and madebygirl

On Sunday, Anthony meticulously sealed all of the windows in my house with plastic. He did such a good job, you can't even tell that the plastic is there. It's much better than my loose, wrinkly job last year. Now I just need to make a skinny, long, pillow type thing to put in front of the drafty front door. Also, I'd love to re-arrange the living room so that the couch is more directly in front of the heating vent, but I'm not sure if that would work out.

While he did that I made up a batch of potato and corn chowder using a package of Mom's freezer corn and some red potatoes I had in the fridge. It was such a nice comforting and satisfying bowl of soup. Perfect for the chilly Sunday night.
One Year
One year ago today, I was anxious about the blind date I would be going on later. I think it turned out pretty well.

November 2007

Singing in the car

One Year
What you gonna spend your free life on?
Cities 97 just emailed me with the news that I won Dan Wilson tickets! He's playing the Pantages Theater in December. What a great way to start the weekend.
Let's fall in love again with music as our guide
We'll raise our ready hands and let go for the ride
Down into unknown lands where lovers needn't hide

We got these lives for free we don't know where they've been
We don't know where they'll go when we are through with them
The starlight of the sun the dark side of the moon

And in the air the questions hang
Will we get to do something
Who we gonna end up being
How we gonna end up feeling
What you gonna spend your free life on?
Free life


Tomorrow I'm off to Salvation Army with Jessica to look for Sarah Palin's clothes and for election celebration shopping. I'm hoping to find some good work shirts, tall black boots and cute cardigans. Maybe even a vintage fur jacket.

It's snowing today, so I think that means that my raking duties are over for this Fall. Also, it makes me want to start decorating for the holidays - maybe Salvation Army will have some festive things too.
Making Squash Ravioli
I lust after the Green Mill Butternut Squash Pasta and decided to tackle making it for myself at home. I studied the menu description and from there went searching for appropriate recipes.

I found a few and put them all together to make it happen. I already had a jar of garlic Parmesan sauce so that was covered. Although, I did find this recipe and I think I'll use it next time I make this (the bottled stuff had a weird texture and the taste was off). It also gave me the idea to boil the sun dried tomatoes with the pasta.

The filling. It made a lot more than my wrappers would hold. I may make some more and freeze them.

I used this recipe for the filling. I added about a cup more squash, because I didn't think it had enough flavor. They also recommend using wonton wrappers for the dough which I had a very difficult time finding.

Assembling the layers: wrapper, filling, water to seal, wrapper.

Filled shells ready to go into the hot water.

Finished product, hot pasta, sauce, sun dried tomatoes and extra Parmesan on top. Just missing some asparagus, but it's not in season. It was delicious and satisfying. If not a little stuck together. Yum.
Proud to be an American

My mom is about the happiest woman in Minnesota right now. All the local races she worked on went her way. She called me this morning cause she couldn't sleep, she was so excited.

I watched 4A come in on my computer until 50% had come in and then I couldn't stay awake anymore.
    Reasons to celebrate:
  • Barack Obama is the new President.

  • John Persell is the new Rep. from 4A.

  • Bemidji City Council will not sabotage themselves and Bemidji will move forward with their big plans.

  • Gail Jackson beat Sondra Erickson in 16A! No more head-to-toe gold.

  • We avoided Mark Olson in the Senate with Lisa Fobbe winning Betsy Wergin's old seat in SD16.
  • Bachmann. What?

  • Wollschalger, Tschumper and Madore defeated.

  • Sterner, Rosenthal, Kath win retiring Republican open seats.

  • Erhardt lost as an independent to the Republican in Edina.

  • Sales tax amendment for the environment. Did people realize they were voting for a tax increase?

  • North Carolina, Indiana, Florida and Virginia went blue. You can believe in people again.
  • Kiffmeyer. Hopefully, she won't be as long winded as Mark Olson was. I predict she and Laura Brod will be besties.

  • Fraken tie. It won't be over until December.

  • Madia.
And Sen. Ted Stevens in Alaska won. That makes for interesting possibilities if he's sentenced and is not able to serve or if the Senate ousts him (can a convicted felon really run for office, he can't vote?). Would Sarah Palin have to appoint someone, would she appoint herself? Or would she call for a special election and run?
Election Night Drinking Game
Watch the results come in and keep the party going with these suggestions from the Rake's political blog, Defenestrator:
  • Every time someone references change - take a shot
  • Every time someone debates whether Sarah Palin helped or hurt the GOP ticket - take a shot
  • Every time someone talks about the role of blogs in this election season - take a shot
  • Every time an "analyst," "pundit," "consultant" or some other empty title is on the news commenting on the election - take a shot
  • Take two shots if you've seen that particular pundit on another network with a different title earlier in the night
  • For every state that's called before the results are in - take a shot
  • If the networks have to change how they called the state - take two shots
  • For every campaign party shown on TV - take a shot
  • For every angry interview with a voter who backed the wrong horse - take two shots
  • If America's favorite hobbit masked wrestler, El Tinklenberg, beats Michele Bachmann - down your drink with a hearty Lechaim!
  • If Bachmann pulls it out - down your drink and keep ‘em coming
  • For every lurid tale of waiting hours in line to vote - take a drink
  • For every minute the length of the wait gets inflated as the night wears on - take another drink
  • For every story of voters being disenfranchised - take a drink
  • If you were disenfranchised - down the bottle and go kick a poll watcher's ass

Girl Talk 2008

This guy was one of the openers. They were Krack Attack or something and had lots of pictures of butt cracks. Even a live fly girl dancing and showing her crack. It was weird.

It was really hot and sweaty on the floor, we're glowing.

These guys were also openers. I never caught their name. I thought it was funny that they look just like Nate Horning from the Klobuchar campaign in 2006. Nate used to blast Girl Talk at the campaign headquarters.

Then the main event started.

And for a while everything felt like this. Scary. I got out of the mosh pit and joined Lane's friends Ben, Andrea and Emily near the wall. But I still got pushed around and stepped on a lot even there.

People danced on stage like always. The security had to hold the DJ table and speakers so it wouldn't fall off the stage. By the middle of the show one of the security guards was dancing and singing along too. He had girls hanging on him, I think it was a good day at work.
Yes We Can

Girl Talk tonight
Should be even more fun than last year. And amazingly - it's just as warm this year as last year.

New iPod
Anthony surprised me with it on Sunday. Oh my goodness! It is so useful, I can surf the internet, check my email, get directions and listen to it without headphones. It is really fun and really cool. Look how pretty my blog looks on it:

Halloween Par-tay
A few photos from the night

Updo, lipstick and heels. I also had a light-up, red & blue cross pin, an American flag pin and a downs baby. I said a lot of Maverick-y things to my fellow Americans.

A bee and 'The Dude' chat with JoAnna from Office Space (nice flair).

An angel and a witch keep tabs on the pumpkin wop.

Lumberg from Office space and a Picnic

Papa Smurf

Sarah Palin and Joe Sixpack

Anthony insisted on being politically incorrect and labeling my doll.

A dinosaur & the Picnic

And Anthony gave a nice drunken concert downstairs to many fans. In this clip, he gets a bit upstaged by dancing picnic and papa smurf.

Young House Love
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Love Forever
2000 Dollar Budget Wedding
a $10,000 wedding
Style Me Pretty
Snippet & Ink
Little Green Notebook Don't Call Me Becky
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