I am *so* gonna play in all this tomorrow.

Our stairs are hiding under that snow, somewhere. (even though we shoveled a bunch of times...

our neighbors are not going to be moving their car anytime in the immediate future...

the view from the stairs you can't see...

We live across the street from a giant empty lot and a giant park, both of which are FULL of snow. Mountains and mountains of snow. Methinks the wind keeps throwing more and more in our direction. Windchill be damned, I'm SO gonna play in all that tomorrow.

bloggy-blog related updates

Hi! So, over the past few weeks (in addition to galavanting around Minnesota with my cousin Rosie) I've been doing a bit of bloggy structure updating.

I created a new blog for my nonprofit research that can be found at strongboards.org.

I made a blog for our wedding plans and preparations that can be found at nj-jme.com.

The Altered Esthetics blog has been located at alteredesthetics.blogspot.com for some time now (though at some point in the future it will have it's own domain also.)

Moving forward, this blog will go back to being a personal blog. Consider it a "philosopher's den" in which I will write about my travels, thoughts, art and beer.

I leave you with this video... pretty much the reason I became a philosophy major. (only kidding...maybe?)

Until next time!

best. weekend. ever.

Taking a break from hierarchy to bring you this update: Best. Weekend. Ever. :)

Friday night we had a date night planned - I was going to take Nick out for sushi as part of his B-day present. Before we left, he said we had to go outside because had something to show me. ("Oh no, what did the dogs eat now?" I worried.)

But that's not what he had to show me at all.

By the little tree we planted together a few years ago, Nick proposed.


After hemming and hawing for a few hours, I said yes. Mostly because our sushi reservation time was nigh. ;)

The rest of the weekend was less momentous, but continually awesome.

Saturday we had an awesome board meeting at the gallery, and when Nick got off of work we went up to the cabin for the rest of the weekend.

Awesomeness ensued.

Bald eagle.

Cute beasties.

Happy fun lake time.

Ready, aim, FIRE!

As the dogs were running around the yard, we stumbled upon a tiny little bird almost dead. No sign of his parents and only a damaged nest nearby, we thought he wasn't going to make it. I took him into the garage, made him a little warm nest, and fed him a little bit of the recommended food.

Here he is, in all his cuteness. Nick thinks he kind of looks like a grumpy old man, and I agree.

By the next morning he was doing incredibly well!


To get him the proper care until he is able to be released back into da wild, I then took him to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Roseville. They said he was doing really well and would probably be just fine. Woooo! Birdy success!

I had an early morning meeting, but since Monday is Nick's day off, we went out to lunch a little later. The Northeast Social Club is now open earlier, and we decided to finally give it a try. Super fantastic food, and apparently magical dining experiences too. While we were sitting outside along the flowerpots, this little guy decided to pay us a visit.

I thought he came to say hi, but maybe he just likes guacamole.

This concludes my summary of the Best Weekend Ever. I'll be back to posting about heterarchies and hierarchies soon, I promise. (I know you're all glued to your seats, right? hehehe.)

::HUGS:: to all!

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.


the next two weeks...

...are going to be pretty crazy, but I'm excited. I should start by updating folks on the jobby job situation. Today officially marked the start of week 3. So far, so good! No scary information that I wasn't already aware of and I think I'm off to a good start (or at least, so it seems.) Last week I completed a realistic development plan, stakeholder analysis, project analysis, and communications plan - all of which we've started to implement. (My single staff person and I, go team!) The first official board meeting since I started is next week. I don't know what will be more intimidating - being interviewed by nine people, or meeting with my nine bosses.  (Everybody is very nice so far and I'm a pretty hard worker, so don't worry about me too much. Or at least... leave the worrying to me! ) Oh - my name was mentioned in the paper on Sunday, giving my opinion about the 807 Broadway building. Hopefully I don't come off like too much of a goofy artypants. (And if I did... oh well. I suppose I am kind of a goofy artypants.)

I'm wrapping up my thesis... in fact, just sent another draft in for final (or close to final) review. So far... I think it is looking decent. Folks that have been kind enough to proof it say it is looking good, and that I should be proud. Proud? Hrm... it was definitely a lot of work, I will say that. I'll post a final version here at some point, in case anybody is interested in reading it. I'll present it the week of May 5th... and then be... done. Done? It sounds weird to say that. What will I do? What books shall I read just for fun? What shall I write about? The opportunities are endless...

Isn't it funny how timing always kind of bunches up? Things at the gallery are ramping up too, just in time for the end of the semester. (yayyyyy.) We're planning our 6 year anniversary party, and that's taking some time for sure. (April 30th! Save the Date!) Thanks to the efforts of our Vending Machine guru Tony - Ae will also be participating in this year's Art Crawl. If it weren't for everybody else on the board doing their part and being awesome, I'd probably be in much less of a good mood. (Thanks Ae board!!!)

Our family is doing well, particularly the beasties. Cooper spent some time yesterday outside chasing a butterfly and it was pretty much the most ridiculously cute thing ever, so cute I couldn't pull myself away in time to get the camera. I'll start carrying a camera with me at all times so I can be a better annoying-dog-mom, I promise.

That's all on the update front. Also, I don't like allergies or head colds, and I'm a kleenex monster. SNARFLE.

**** an aside: if anybody knows how I can fix my page so links aren't bold, let me know. I can't seem to find in the stylesheet where to adjust that.

one week as a family of five

We've had cooper for almost a week now, and he's adjusting really well. He's getting along with the other fuzzy beasties and he and Molly have taken to romping around and wrastling - which is cute but pretty loud early in the morning! Most of the time, however, they are pretty chill - much like you see here:

We're really trying to work on house-training, which is probably the most frustrating part. Frustration aside he's really doing quite well; he still pees sometimes when scared or excited, though. Sometimes I do that too, so I can't say I really blame him. ;) (jk.)

So, that's pretty much all I have on the update front. Even the Kiki has been coming around, a much quicker transition for her than when Molly first came to live with us.

Now I have three fuzzy muses. My papers this semester should be tremendous.

He's home!

We picked up Tre today at around 10:00. At first I think he was a mix of both excited and sad - he kept looking in the back window, saying goodbye to his foster parents. (Who by the way are super awesome.) We stopped by Nick's work so folks there could meet him and then brought him home. He didn't mind the ride home at all, and even slept a little in the car.

Yay, new home!

He met the Kiki first. Their meeting was brief and mostly a blur, but it went well.

Tre met Molly outside and they romped around with the Frisbee for awhile. Well, Molly romped with the Frisbee - Tre just pretty much chased after and around her.

In this picture the frisbee kind of looks like a giant tongue. Flapflap!

Tre says "Hey Nick, the grass is getting pretty tall out here. Hint, hint."

After quite a bit of running and exploring the new yard, Tre was ready to go back inside.

We went back inside and showed Tre his new kennel and doggie bed and the rest of the house.

We also decided on his new name. Cooper!

That was our morning, and now here we are. Cooper is sitting next to me on the couch, chewing on a rawhide and farting. Molly is lying on the doggie bed, also chewing on her rawhide but a bit less gassy - such a lady.

Welcome home, Cooper!

Getting another beastie...

Tomorrow we're going to pick up this handsome fellow.

Right now his name is Tre, but we might be giving him a new name...

Tre only has three legs. His leg was broken so badly when he was rescued that they had to amputate it just below the hip. He's getting along fine though and he can do anything normal puppies do like hop up stairs, run amuck, chase cats...


Even though Nick has been doing most (well... all) of the adoption work, the whole process is still bringing up much thought and feeling for me. Mela was my first dog ever and going through this process brings back memories of bringing her home and getting used to having a puppy around. She was full of life and energy, as good huskies should be. :)

It was a learning process for the Kiki too... but we both did okay.

Mela and the Kiki were BFF, until Molly joined the fuzzy family. Then everybody was BFFs.

We had to put Mela to sleep in 2006. It was one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make. Even though Nick wanted to adopt again right away I've been hesitant to bring another dog into the house. Not just because of how hard it was to loose Mela, but I've just been giving myself a little time.

Molly and the Kiki have become even closer and they both have very cuddly, chill personalities. It will be interesting to see how adding another puppy to the household will mix things up.

Tomorrow we'll become a family of five again. Wish us luck!

Bike Rides, Bugs, Newsies and Weeds

Last Friday (one of the hottest days of the summer, apparently) Summer, Kristin and I biked to Stillwater, MN from Summer's house in St. Paul. For anybody looking to do that ride, we had a pretty good path: Wheelock Parkway to the Gateway Trail to Stillwater Road. It was about 40 miles round-trip - but with the heat it seemed a little bit longer, even though the trail itself was pretty easy. Oh yeah... easy except for the really ginormous hill at Stillwater. Anyway, we were pretty excited to go on the ride:

We didn't take an at-the-end picture as nobody really wants to see us exhausted, sweaty, and covered in dirt and dead bugs.

On Saturday we had the Ae Arty Garage sale, which was fun and apparently we took no pictures. I assure you much fun-ness was had.

On Sunday Kristin and I hit the Uptown Market to hock Big Funny newspapers. The staff was really welcoming and the market itself was great - lots of artists, crafters, organic foods, etc. I hope they make it a weekly event next year.

Kristin took a picture of me before we got started... not the most flattering picture in the world, but dig my newsie threads!

We didn't sell a whole lot of papers but we talked to a lot of people about the show. People really liked the outfits, and that got the conversation going in most cases. The day was one giant anachronism. Kristin and I dressed like newsies hocking papers in front of a 70's "Magic Bus Cafe" that sold organic foods in a trendy uptown area where folks walked their labradoodles, checking out the "scene."

This pretty much sums up how much fun we had:

Todd stopped by with his wife Sue and took a picture of both of us. Is my fly down? Totally was.

This week=finishing my final paper for my summer class, paperwork for graduate school, Ae trainings, studying for the GRE, working on a new painting and other miscellaneous catchings-up. I really want to post some of the stories and pictures from our epic road trips and will get to that as soon as I can, I promise. This week has been "fun" so far... ragweed is in high effect and I live next to what is several loooong stretches of this:


Random Gifts from the Universe?

Yesterday before I left for the gallery I found the following beauties in my mailbox:

Do wasps ever just like... lift their homes and move to new places or should I be concerned that somebody put that there? (Because I'm concerned that somebody put that there.)

Last year Nick and I found a small skull on the back porch. Perfectly in tact - even had all the teeth. If I find it I will take a picture to share with you. Finding the wasps next gives me the same feelings. This little item is slightly too bizarre to just be sitting where it currently sits. Somebody must have placed it there... but who?