Friday, August 29, 2008

the bachelorette party

tonight was a night of firsts. the first time i have ever walked four blocks in darkness. yes, it was fargo, and no i guess i wasn't scared, but no i would not ever do it again. oddly, it was also one of my first bachelorette parties. yes, i am entering the season when my friends begin to get married. it was also one of the best dinners i have ever had with my brother. yes, i made him wait [much too long in his opinion] before we could leave, but overall the night was fun.

i love to death my friend gidget. and i met two of her friends tonight who i think i could adore. and i feel badly. the bachelorette party tonight was not one that i would like to have. it was not rucous and wild and crazy; nor was it embarrassing or exciting for the bride-to-be. it was 10 women (although i still think of myself as a girl) in the basement of the swankiest hotel in fargo (the ho do), downing martinis, munching on hors d'oeuvres, and sharing silly stories of gidge. it was not at all a bad evening, but comparatively speaking... bachelorette parties, in my opinion, are supposed to be outrageous and unforgettable and.... the opposite of what tonight was. tonight was more of a shower. yes, it was a bridal shower, in the evening. i hope gidge had a good time. i wish we could've gotten her blitzed to the point of having so much fun, she wouldn't want anyone to see the pictures. and don't you hate it when, no matter how much you drink (a pitcher of margaritas and THREE french martinis) you feel completely sober and are annoyed with how much you've spent and aren't appreciating the effects. [although i cant REALLY complain.... a mexican dinner for two with appetizer, 3 meals and two pitchers of margaritas was less than $50 and then 3 martinis and a margarita was $32.... ahhh, life in the midwest: cheap drinks.] after a few hours, i had gidge's friends (and my new friends!) drop me off at the corner so i could walk 4 blocks home. in the dark. which i would NEVER do. but it was fine.

so, two lessons from tonight: one, i hope gidge had a GREAT time. and if you didn't, i promise to throw you a crazy party in DC. two, if i were to ever get married (doubtful), no matter how much i say i don't want an embarrassing bachelorette party - don't listen to me. it has to be wild. wouldn't you agree that bachelor/ette parties are supposed to be unforgettable???

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

ahh, life in the midwest

in my sophomore year of college, after i pointed out yet another difference between boston and fargo, a friend of mine said lovingly to me, "danielle, if we were in europe, you'd be from a different country." and he's right. things are a little different out here. so, i've just decided i'm going to start a running entry entitled "ahh, life in the midwest" devoted to promoting the differences between fargo and anywhere else i've lived.

today: i always say everyone should have his or her own passport in case you need to flee the country at a momen'ts notice (and be sure to know which countries don't have extradition policies with the US). if this is a potential threat for you, living in the midwest might be a hassle because you cannot walk into a bank and ask for foreign currency on the spot. you'll have to plan your transgressions around the foreign currency ordering schedule at your local bank.

...or keep lots of currency in your safety deposit box.

ahh, life in the midwest.

the exchange rate. sniff, sniff

i'm watching a show on HGTV and this woman is looking for a house to buy in amsterdam for 215,000 EUR or "equivalent to $260,000." wtf??? when was this show made??? i went to the bank today to prepare for my trip to europe (which, btw, is NEXT WEEK!!) and bought 200 euros for $309!! [side note: you have to PRE-order euros in fargo. you can't just walk in and get a lot. they might have SOME, but not many. forget about getting anything other than GBP or EUR. ahhh, life in the midwest.]

260,000 / 215,000 = 1.209
309 / 200 = 1.545

sniff. sniff, sniff.

i ask you: are you like your mother?

it's 9:30 and finally a quiet moment. for once my father has gone to bed early after a long day of golfing in carrington (over 2 hours from fargo). my mom had the day off and we spent it going through her closet. she works at 5am tomorrow, so everyone is asleep. it's kind of weird living with my parents again after 9 years. there are ups and downs, and i intend to explore those issues sometime, but for now i wanted to write about an article i read on cnn.

Help, I'm turning in to my mother

Not the most revealing article I've ever read, but it did make me think, if only for a few moments (and we all know i'm not thinking much lately).

first, i'd like to say that i feel bad for anyone who wouldn't want to become his or her mom. i have a great realtionship with my mom, but i don't think we are very similar. i wouldn't mind being like my her (i think), but i don't think i am.

take today, for example. our task was to go through my mother's much-neglected walk-in closet - organize, sort, clean, throw out, etc. and herein lies the difference between my mom and i. i LOVE to do this sort of work. i can look at a space and a bunch of objects and fit them together quite easily. going through and tackling this sort of project stresses out my mother. as soon as we started to make a mess, she worried that it wouldn't get put back together. i never worried and understand the process. i don't know from where this sense of organization has come. i am, by far, more organized than anyone in my family. sure, i keep things, but everything has a home and is in its place.

but there are more differences. my mother likes salty, i like sweet. my style is more modern, hers contemporary. she enjoys the gym, which i despise. she's a nurse - ha ha ha. no way would i ever be able to do anything in medicine for a profession. she also helps people as part of her job. i gues i did, too. i helped them make money. :) maybe we're not so different, afterall...

we're both introverted. we have the same hands (and same as her mothers, in fact). we enjoy music and reading. we both do this thing where when we're alone (or around people with whom we are close), we'll scream and holler. probably only my father and brothers have ever seen that. i like me a fine drink and my mom has never been one to drink a lot. i'm probably a bit more agressive than her and she's definitely a nicer person than i. a friend of mine met her at an open house and said, "danielle, your mom is so NICE." and i was like, "yeah, aren't moms supposed to be?" and he replied, "but your mom is just a NICE person." apparently his is not.

anyway, its getting late and taking me a long time to finish this because i have been watching tv. i dont know if i'll ever come up with a decision of whether or not i'm like my mother and for the meantime, i pose the question to you, blog readers: are you like your mother? would you want to be? why wouldn't you? what traits of yourself would you like your children to have?

the post for dave

so i'm at the gas station today to pick up a pop for my mom and i hear the guy behind the counter talking to a coke guy (guy who delivers coke as opposed to a coked out guy) about gas. the gas guy told him that he heard there were gas stations in town that had their gas pumps covered. the coke guy asked why and he said, "because they don't have any gas." but the gas guy said he had 300 gallons left [anyone in fargo can go to the mobil on main and 4th across from wells fargo for gas -they have plenty for now] but that his truck was waiting in line to fill up for more. the coke guy said he saw over a dozen gas tankers lined up on 45th street waiting to fill up - the line was over 3 blocks long. the gas guy then said that he heard the fill station might not have enough by the time his tanker gets to the head of the line and once the fill station gets to a certain amount they say they are empty because they have to leave some reserve for the fire department, police, and ambulances.

is fargo running out of gas??

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

notes on blogging

it has come to my attention that some of you may never have seen a blog before, so here is my brief description and some notes:

a blog is basically a journal or opinion piece by a writer or group of writers. wiki has a great explanation, where i just learned that its short for web log (one of those things others probably realized, but i had not). blogs can be about specific subjects or just ramblings and mine will be a personal blog used to keep people up to date with where i am and what i'm thinking (at least an edited version of my thoughts - hopefully). so far, i have been updating fairly frequently, but i'm not sure how long that will keep up. once abroad, i am hoping for at least weekly updates, which will be easier now that i have this shiny new laptop and fancy new ipod touch (which, btw, i heard people complain on other blogs that its not called an itouch - its an ipod touch. i dont know how i feel about this yet).

if you have a gmail account, you can leave comments on my blog (hopefully they are nice - if they are not, i have the ability to delete them [mental note: figure out how to delete nasty comments]). i will be putting polls on the right column of my blog homepage, and you do not need to have a gmail account to participate in these. for the most part, i imagine i will put up quizzes or polls where you can select more than one answer, so always try to do that if you so fancy. again, if you're not familiar, all this means that people can see who has commented (because you have to sign in) but cannot see (including me) who has participated in the poll.

further, if you are really into blogs, or want to be into blogs, there is this fancy new device called google reader. basically, the idea behind google reader is that, say you read my blog and a blog about movies and maybe another blog about sports (who likes both movies and sports, i dont know, but its possible...). rather than constantly clicking on a link to each blog to see if there is a new posting (and invariably forgetting about the blogs), you can set up an account on google reader that acts like an inbox for all your blogs. so, anytime someone writes a new post, or another person comments on a blog you like, you will get a litle message in google reader (or some other indication - i have not yet set up an account, so am not 100% sure how it works). the wiki link above gives a good, technical description, but i like it because in the top right corner of the page you will see a screen shot of the google reader interface. i'm sure there are other programs that do the same, but since i am blogging on, google reader is easy to use (since blogger is owned by google). so, google reader will do all the work for you and you won't have to click on blogs again only to discover disappointingly that there are no new posts.

[side note: am i afraid of google taking over the world - yes, but i'm not sure i will be around to see the aftermath, so i promote them for now.]

i hope this little rambling helps anyone who is new to the blogging community. questions?

the sleepless night

the clock reads 3:45 and there is a little red button in the top left corner indicating that this is AM. as i yawn, i realize this is the 4th (?) time i have been awoken this evening / morning. for some reason, i cannot sleep.

i have been encouraged by feedback from many friends and thought i'd take a moment in this restless night to briefly describe the past few and upcoming months for me.
in may, i left boston in a hurried fashion (which should most definitely be a separate posting later on - the process was incredible and not in the good way). after shipping my belongings to fargo, i flew with two suitcases to sacramento where i stayed for work for two months. i left california the first day of august to fly home to fargo. i have been here for the past 24 days doing a variety of things. in exactly a week i take off for berlin. my flight will be long and this will be the first time i am flying from mid-continent to europe. i fly from fargo to minneapolis then direct to amsterdam with a layover before arriving in berlin around 4:30 pm on sept 3. my classes at the goethe institut technically start on sept 1, but due to a wedding and flight schedules, i will be arriving a few days late. hopefully this is not a problem.

in berlin, i have arranged for a furnished apartment in the mitte district near the school. my friend, jen, has been living in berlin for some time and will kindly show me around the first night i am there. i have been to berlin before during my winter "back packing" trip in 2002. wow. it's been 6 years since i moved to europe. depressing.
anyway, i have an intensive german class for 8 weeks, ending oct 27. or is it the 24th? something like that. i plan to stay in berlin until oct 31 or so... during my time in berlin, i hope to travel to poland and other parts of germany. i am excited to be spending the last weekend of september in london for my friend's 27th golden birthday (27th birthday which happens to be golden, not the golden birthday for the 27th time). i also have a friend, michi, who is flying to berlin for a weekend from italy. it has been ... more than 5 years since i have seen her. this is the first weekend of october, so it now looks like i won't get to go to oktoberfest since i will be in london and then have a friend visiting, which is fine, but if i mentioned i might be able to meet you in munchen, it looks like now i will not.

i dont fly back stateside until thanksgiving day (nov 27), so I plan to do some traveling for the month of nov. i am hoping to visit an old friend in oslo. then i think i will fly directly to paris and take advantage of my dear friends there and use that as a base - either get to know paris again or travel from there (maybe visit a high school friend i have not seen in 9 years in basel or a day or two in reims where i went to school or i never did go see mont st. michel...). either way, around nov 14 or 17 (whatever that weekend is), i am flying with lisa to meet elaine in barcelona for a long, girls weekend. that should be excellent. after that, probably a few more days in paris and then i'll eurostar it to london for a week or so. it's been a long time since i was last in london, too... i think 5 years. i'd like to visit scotland and do some walking around in london. which reminds me, do i have a london DK book? [mental note: check]

then, i fly from london to minneapolis and then to fargo. the trip back sounds sooo less complicated than my trip out there. as of right now, i have no real plans for when i return, although i now know that i will not be spending a lot of time in fargo. it's a lot more difficult than i expected living here. again, topic for another posting later on.

well, as my brother would say, peace out girl scout.

Monday, August 25, 2008

the birthday party

saturday was my father's birthday. birthday's are not usually huge events in the erdmann household. but maybe that's because i have only been home twice for my birthday in the past 9 years (one trip was for a funeral) and rarely for any other family member's big day. my dad, who loves loves loves to golf (i can't imagine anything i like to do as much as he likes to golf), spent the day on the green whacking the ball at 27 holes. me mum and i (it sounds british in my head) went to the farmer's market to get some veggies and saw two people we know there. fargo truly is a big small town. one of the guys we saw was our former landlord [side note: i'm putting music on my laptop while i write this and must comment on the picture on the inside of the christina aguilera (of course i'm latin, my last name IS aguilera) and i have to say - if i had her legs i would wear white and pink thigh highs all day every day with bright baby pink heels. i could take or leave the boa.] and the other guy was actually the farmer we were buying from. the farmer is from a big basketball family and so on the ride home my mom tried to explain how everyone was interconnected and we knew everyone. i'll say it again: fargo is a big small town. the one disappointment of the farmer's market was that there was no fruit. fruit jam (or jelly - who knows that the difference is????), but no fresh fruit. i dont know how fruit is made (grown?) but it must have something to do with consistent hot weather, which we don't typically have, and therefore it's hard to grow. or maybe north dakotans favor hearty veggies, i dont know. we have rhubarb in our backyard - is that a fruit? or a vegetable? does it matter?

anyway, after a kazillion other little errands, we began cooking. kind of. i only say this because nothing i do in the kitchen should be called cooking. while my mom showered, i began to make some delicious potatoes from a recipe i found online [easy for others, complicated for me potatoe recipe]. a few things about this recipe:

1) we didn't have the grill ready to go, so we had to cook in the oven. i realize this after cutting about half the potatoes into small triangle-type things. my triangle-type things would not sit on top of an oven rack, so we're kind of screwed there. luckily i left half of them bigger to fit across the metal bar thingies.

2) how much is a "sprig" of rosemary? well, first, let me say that i dont know anyone in these parts who buys fresh herbs. (is rosemary an herb??) so we were working with herbs from a spice rack. so how many dashs / shakes / pours from a jar equals one sprig? i just guessed, which is pretty much how i do all my cooking. that's what they do on iron chef so clearly it should work for me.

3) same thing with the sprigs of thyme. i put more in because i assumed a sprig of thyme is about the same size as a sprig of rosemary and the recipe calls for more thyme than rosemary.
0.5) back up - i forgot to mention something else, we didnt have enough olive oil. they dont use a lot of it here, so we only had a small bottle half full. so we were off to a rocky start before we started anything.

4) garlic. now, if you dont know - i LOVE garlic. too much is not an option for me. of course, i am single, so maybe that figures in to my limitless understanding of the use of garlic. anyway, i dont know if a clove is the whole thing of garlic or one of the pieces inside the big thing of garlic. so, to me, its one of the whole things. so i start peeling and mashing. kind of. first off, we had a regular white thing of garlic you get from the store and that went ok. i cut myself once or twice because i was trying to do the thing they do on iron chef where you put the garlic piece down and then lay your knife on top and smash your hand down on it to open it up (or i guess i'm not really sure what its for, but it looks cool). so i did this a few times and sometimes it worked and sometimes it just cut me. then i move on to the garlic we got at the farmers market. i really wish alton brown would stand over me explaining all the different types of garlic because they didnt look alike, so i am SURE they were different. anyway, those litlle sob's would NOT peel. the stem in the middle was soo stiff, i couldnt believe it. so, yes, more cutting of myself. after i had peeled all the garlic and had them laying on the table in front of me (its a lot harder to cook sitting down at a table. mental note: stand up next time), i looked into my bowl of oil and dashes of herbs and all the garlic from the supermarket garlic and realized that you almost couldn't see the oil there was so much garlic. i'm starting to question whether a whole thing of garlic is a clove or if the little pieces are. but then again, we didnt have as much oil as we should've, so i continue mashing garlic into the bowl. (btw, i do NOT like my mom's garlic thing - i should go dig through my boxes for mine which has nice pokey things to clean out the grate part.) after glancing down again, i think its time to stop with the garlic.

so i put the potatoes in and mix them around, but i can't tell if its coating them properly. i take some of the plastic stuff out that you put on top of bowls and press it down really well and then turn it upside down. the oil isnt really coating the potatoes, its just forming puddles around the sides of the bowls where the plastic is and i'm afraid it'll seep out, so i take that off and just spend a lot of time stirring the mixture.

at some point, my mom comes down and says "woah - a little strong on the rosemary, eh?" and i honestly can't smell it. i'm guessing good cooks should have a good sense of smell.
anyway, i forget what i was doing, but my mom starts cooking the potatoes and is very crafty - she put them all on a cookie sheet so they wouldn't fall through the metal bars in the oven. smart.

oh, i think i was on my way to hobby lobby where i went to pick up the gift we got for my father. it was an old picture collage of his that someone made back in 81 (so its as old as me) showing off my dad's amateur basketball team. over time, the mat had warped and discolored so me mum and me took it in to get finished. it turned out great! i dont think my dad was as impressed as we were. i'm sure he liked it, but men just dont seem to care about that sort of thing as much as women.

so when we had dinner. my brother, homie, and his gf, lindsay, came over so the five of us sat down for a really nice dinner. it was delish! and everyone really liked the potatoes. is it potatoes or potatos? i remember something about quayle screwing it up, but i just cant remember and spell check seems to accept them both.
anyway, we had some wine and beer (not mixed together, of course!) and salmon, talapia, steak, corn on the cob and then ice cream cake with candles for dessert.

fabulous evening thanks to my potatoes.

the dreaded day

i absolutely hate sundays. they are my least favorite day of the week. yesterday was no exception. i can't even remember what i did for half of the day, but at some point i decided to go downstairs to the basement and attempt to reorganize / clean up the massive mess i have made. i was down there about a half hour, maybe more, when i got bored, annoyed, and just... unmotivated. so i took a shower, slept on the floor in the living room for about twenty minutes, talked my mom into finishing the computer room today (Monday) and then was returned back to boredom. it was so severe that i drew an uneven bracelet on my wrist with a ball point pen. it's pretty ugly. the highlight of the day was going for a drive with my mom. we went to get fruit and she played with my ipod while i drove. it was cute. then i decided to look for our address in moorhead (the sister city across the river to fargo). there is no 1210 4th street in moorhead - north or south. i told my mom it's a good thing we didn't live in moorhead - we wouldn't exist!

what's the purpose of this rambling??
1) sundays suck
2) i need to do something with my life

any suggestions??

Saturday, August 23, 2008

the hair

my first note will be less than glamorous and used because people have been asking to see my fancy new hair. due to my extreme move half-way across the country, most will not see it in person. since i have always wanted to have bright red or hot pink hair (kind of Run, Lola, Run style) and never been able to since I have been working since I was 15 years old, I figured that now was the perfect time to do it. I have moved on from the extreme style I wanted before and have chosen something a bit more subtle, and yet fun. Three weeks ago, I had hair locs put into place. Here is their website (directly linked so you can see what they are): No, it is not a weave or glued in. These aren't quite as temporary as at-home methods - they should last 2-3 months. I have to use a special brush to comb my hair so they aren't pulled out, and I use this seaweed bumble and bumble shampoo, which is quite nice.

so, without further ado, here are pictures of my new style.

the last picture shows the locs at the bottom of the purple strand of hair. they are totally moveable and work with natural hair - I can put my hair up and it'll move naturally and won't show. really cool.

hile speaking with my friend, dave, he pointed out an excellent article on hair extensions that ya'll should read. (yes, this is from wiki - one of my favorite sources, even though I have found it to be incorrect)

in the future, I plan to use this as a sort of "where am i" and "see how unglamorous my life is" type of blog. questions, ideas for posts, etc are always welcome. also, i apologize in advance for... well, anything...