Roll call: Who the hell is blogging?

There's networked blogs, blogger,, the atheist blogroll etc etc etc. Some of you are on those various networks, some of you aren't. Some of you update your blogs regularly, some of you don't.

I'm not trying to reinvent the wheel, but I read a lot of blogs. Friends - please tell me and my quiet readers (who I know are out there, based on my damn stats) if you're blogging, where your blog is, and roughly what you're blogging about.

Many of my friends also like art, philosophy, comics, blogging, religion, the Twin Cities, traveling, etc... so list yourself in the comments please, so I can add you to my list of blogs I actively check in to (and other people might check you out as well.)

Mmkay, thanks, bai!

What's your obsession?

The next post in my dream-making series is going to be about "things to do before you launch." I know that the path from point A to point B varies from idea to idea - what's the right path for a restaurant might not be the right path for  a rock band. I have a variety of obsessions beyond lists and planning, and blogging is among them. Right now I maintain four blogs of my own (Strong Boards, The Humanist Experience, our Wedding Blog, and this one right here), have one in the works (TBA), and I write for two other blogs as well. (The Cud and Altered Esthetics.) Blogging might seem less traditionally creative than say, painting or sculpting - but I love the art of putting together arguably interesting, helpful or entertaining content and sharing it with the world. Since I've been done with school my energy for writing is coming back quite a bit, and it's manifested itself in this way.

All work and no play makes homer something something... so I'm curious... what's your obsession, hobby, or passion?

Happy to be thanksfulgivingness - photos that make me smile.

In honor of thanksgiving, here's a few personal photos that always make me smile and remind me of a few of the many things I have to be grateful for. Adorable beasties,

three beautiful and talented (yet fun and goofy) nieces,

chickens with feathery feet,

a wonderful fiance who has spent a lifetime being kickass,

Ae friends that always make me laugh,

a great job with the BEST coworkers,

fantastic friends, rock band, and costumes,

aaaand last but certainly not least... an amazing / amazingly hysterical family -

that I get to see in LESS THAN ONE MONTH!

Happy Turkey-or-not-to-to-Turkey day, everybody!!! :)

Do you have any goofy or wonderful pictures you can't see without cracking a smile? I'd love to see them! Share some in the comments below.


It's 5:20am. I can't sleep.

This morning when I left for work, this guy saw me out. I'm not sure what kind of butterfly he is, but I'm calling him the Friday-the-Thirteentherfly. At least 5" across, and so beautiful. Are butterflies luckier than black cats on Friday the 13th? hehehe.

On Wednesday I graduated, yesterday we barbequed and today we planted a tree.

What a busy few weeks it has been! (even more than normal, that is.) The Ae Fundraiser was last Friday (April 30th) and it went really well. I'm still humbled and amazed by the amount of people we have that come out to support us. Even though some little things went kooky behind the scenes, the event was an overwhelming success in so many ways.

Things didn't really slow down after that, because my thesis had to be wrapped up and presented the following week. (last week) Though the final project class was good and I refined my thesis paper considerably, the best part of the class without question was the people that were in it. Such an amazingly diverse group of people and projects, most of whom I never would have met otherwise.

Friday night was the F.R.E.S.H. opening, another A-listed event at Ae. Does it make me a nerd or any less professional if I still get super excited when our shows get good press? (Because I do.) The Rogue Citizen's group did a live painting during the course of the opening and it looks super awesome. A time-lapse video of it will be available shortly and I'll post it.

We went to the park on Saturday for a barbeque. There were many tiny little green worms; we think they were falling from the trees. I rescued a few of them from a fiery death, this little guy included:

We were originally going to go the cabin this weekend, but we heard the weather was going to be very chilly - possibly even snowy. We also remembered we had a tree to pick up from the City of Minneapolis, thanks to TreeTrust. Woo!

So... we planted the tree early this morning. Well, Nick did most of the planting, with a little help from Cooper.

Yay, our family. (Sans the KeyKey).

Just under four years ago Nick and I planted a little spruce we were gifted. It has grown quite a bit! (If you're looking for scale - check the little black diamonds on the grate around the tree.)

My laundry is completely put away for the first time in over a month. Dishes have been washed AND put away (not just stacks of dishes sitting in the drainer.) The house has been vacuumed, mopped, and the windows are open to let in the lovely breeze outside. There is spaghetti sauce in the fridge and if only California were next door to Minnesota, it'd be a completely perfect Sunday.


believe it or not... sometimes I can be a sports nerd

I can be a sports nerd sometimes... and here are a few pics to prove it! Today, I got to go to a lender's appreciation event for my new jobby job. The event was held at the new stadium, and included a tour. A super duper awesome V.I.P. tour, and I felt very super duper awesome and I.P.-y.

They didn't mention it on the tour, but the artist that designed the Twins logo passed away recently, Ray Barton. He was 80. :(

It's a packed house this afternoon!

It's too bad they had to chop down 3,000 giant redwoods before finding a cross-section that bore an uncanny likeness to Kirby Puckett. Muir Woods will never be the same... but this bar is AWESOME!

Oh yeah.

I could handle watching a game or two from here. (I won't get in the way, I promise!)

I'm up to bat next! I should probably adjust my legwarmers.


All in all it was a lovely luncheon - but I was really, really impressed with the stadium - everything they did to make it environmentally efficient and also everything they did to make it great for the guests. Bigger seats with more leg-room, 1,000 spots for bike parking, extremely easy lightrail access...on and on. They are even recycling the rainwater.

Way to go Minneapolis, for making this a a stunning project in terms of sustainability, architecture, and oh - art too.

I'm looking forward to biking to a game here soon!

A goose hissed at me on Earth Day.

Today, like the good little “hippie” I am (or some people seem to think I am), I woke up extra early so I would be able to bike to my morning meeting and later to work. All in all, it was a lovely ride. It was chillier than I expected, but sunny and bright. Yay spring! I took a few odd streets, and was reminded just how much I love the houses tucked away in the Northeast neighborhoods. Even as I approached the industrial area the ride wasn’t so bad... until I got to Industrial street itself, that is. Have you gone down that street recently? Driving is hard enough - cycling is nearly impossible. Potholes big enough to swallow one of my tires, for sure. I really don’t know how any pedestrians ever get down this street. ADA-Accessible? Not so much.

I arrived at the building relatively unscathed, circled around to find bike parking (none to be had, surprise surprise) and found a fence behind the building to chain my bike to. Lo and behold, nesting in the parking lot, was this gal!

“Yay!” I thought. “A welcoming committee.”

And then she hissed at me. Seriously. Like a cat hisses. A goose hissed at me on Earth Day. Booooooooo. And no, I didn’t do anything obnoxious like try to pet or even feed the goose. All I did was lock up my bike a safe distance away. So I’m left to conclude the following:

Geese don’t like helmets.

Oh well.

Aside from getting the thumbs down from nature, the meeting was otherwise great. (And money has been portioned to fix potholes, yay!) Work has been busy but great, it’s sunny outside, I like spring, and shortly I will head to the UMN to attend a graduation reception... which will make me even more excited for mine in a few weeks, woo!

Happy Earth Day, folks. Do the world a favor and don't piss off any unsuspecting geese.

Are you Jewish?

On Saturday night Nick and I went to The Cabooze to see our friend Erik play. I saw an artist-friend there and as I went to great her and give her a hug, somebody-it-seemed-I-should-have-recognized-but-didn't-recognize also greeted me, gave me a hug, and almost immediately proceeded to ask me what nationality I was. "Are you Jewish?" He said. "We weren't sure what nationality you were, and I thought you looked Jewish."

("Why?" I thought to myself? "Because I have a big nose? We'll that makes sense. All Jews have big noses, right? Of course! If I have a big nose, I must be Jewish." But that's not what I said.)

He had, in fact, used my nose as a measure for guessing my heritage. Interesting. I proceeded to tell him a little bit about my mixed ancestry, the condensed/bar version.  (For here, I can be a little bit more detailed.)


I have a big nose, yes. See? You can see my profile pretty well here, in this picture of me and Nick.

However even though I'm part Jewish, my nose isn't. My nose is my father's (thanks Dad!) and he's Sri Lankan, born in Sri Lanka. Let's see if I have a picture of my dad...

Perfect- here's me, my mom, and my dad at the cabin last fall. See the similarities? Of course in general, but also the nose in particular. My dad's nose is slightly more crooked than mine because he's been punched in the nose before... I think he used to box, just like Who's the Boss.

Sometimes people wonder about our last name (Schumacher) as it is not typically Sri Lankan. "So, you're Sri Lankan?" somebody might think. "Then what's with your name, and your nose?" Well, my family is Dutch-Burgher Sri Lankan. Our Sri Lankan roots go back to Deutschland, hence our German last name. My father came to this country in the 60's, where he met my mother and years later, had my sister, then me.

My mother is Polish. Her story is a little bit different.My Grandfather Chaim was born in Poland. He was raised in Poland along with his many brothers and sisters.On September 1, 1939 he fled to Russia (the Ukraine, to be specific.) It was there that he met my Grandmother, and they stayed in Russia throughout the war. Most of my Grandfather's brothers and sisters died in the war. At this point, I'm not sure how many (if any) are alive... but as I learn more about my family this is one of the areas I'm researching more. After the war my Grandfather and Grandmother returned to Poland, where they had my Uncle George and my mother. In the 1960's they moved the entire family to the states, and began a new life here. My father met my mother's brother, then he met my mother, my grandfather passed away, my uncle and grandmother returned to Denmark, my mother stayed here and the rest is history.

So, that's longer-than-the-bar-version-but-still-condensed-version of my family history... triggered in part by Saturday's interaction.

I'm not easily offended, in fact I've got a pretty dark sense of humor and will laugh at a lot of things normal people might not. So it isn't that this interaction offended me in any way... However, the interaction as a whole seemed funny to me, and not funny ha-ha.

My "jewishness" is a strange experience for me. When I was younger, I always just considered myself Polish/Sri-Lankan - American, because those were the countries where my parents were born, and America is where my parents became citizens, where I was born. It wasn't until I began investigating my heritage that I learned about the Russian/Ukraine, Dutch-Burgher and Jewish components of my ancestry.

If somebody asks me how it is that I'm Sri Lankan even though my last name is Schumacher I assume they're curious and will happily explain to them the intricacies of my unique heritage, of which I'm quite proud. However, if somebody asks me if I'm Jewish and it seems like they are only guessing that because I have a big nose I'll may just assume they're ignorant.

Occasionally when somebody does find out I'm Jewish, they'll ask about my history. "Oh wow, did any of your relatives die in the concentration camps?" It reminds me kind of when people ask about my family in Sri Lanka - When they find out I still have family there, they ask if any of them died in the Tsunami... As though it legitimizes my heritage to be tied emotionally to the tragedies of a particular people. It isn't that I don't want to talk about these things - I think we should talk about them, understand them, heal and learn from them. But the conversation itself can at times seem absurd. "Did you see that movie? Oh, I totally saw it too, it was great!"  "Did your relative die of some type of tragedy? Mine too, high five."

Then again, we connect with people all sorts of different ways. I suppose tragedy has a different way of bonding people, at least more than liking the same shoes. I guess one thing is just a bit more transparent than the other.

Last night

Last night on the way home from school, I took a slightly different route that took me under the West River Parkway side of the newly reconstructed 35W Bridge. Under the 35 W Bridge

The pathway under the 35W bridge.

I was struck by the beauty of the white concrete and light against the peacefull nighttime snowy sky. The picture doesn't do it justice...