Monday, October 31, 2005

The Empty Party

We had a “party” on Saturday night. It was a combination Halloween get-together and birthday get together (Steve’s a Halloween Baby). Yes, it was more of a get together not really a party. We only invited a few people….sort of last minute but we got some positive response so that seemed fine.

I spent the day making a pumpkin cheesecake (my first cheesecake!), sausage puffs, seasoned oyster crackers; I had also purchased chips & salsa, dry roasted peanuts-candy corn-Halloween M&M’s and Steve bought 3 kinds of beer and fixin’s for Appletinis. We put up a few decorations – some spider webs, spiders, knick knacks, candles, pumpkins and colored lights.

We donned Halloween costumes – he was the Pilsbury Doughboy (hysterical!) and I was the Devil Lady (old standby).

And then we waited.

No one came.

Well, that is one way to make your self-esteem plummet. I felt bad for me because I had gone to the trouble of getting food & drink ready and making the house look nice & spooky. I also felt really bad for Steve as it was his b-day get together and his friends all flaked! We didn’t receive one phone call from people saying they couldn’t make it. I called a couple of my friends and pulled the news out but that was it.

It was the most depressing party I’ve ever been to/thrown.

So we sat – all costumed up – eating sausage puffs (which were freaking awesome, btw) and drinking beer & way too strong Appletinis. His brother came over later and we ended up going out. But still. People are LAME.

We went to The Reef and there Steve won $25 for Best Male Costume! He didn’t even have to get up on a stage or anything. The bartender (dressed as Vikings Head Coach Mike Tice – which was quite funny) walked up to him and handed him the money. After The Reef we hit the martini bar. I danced with the Doughboy to some nice electronica (it was a bit weird) and the vodka crans went down smoothly (him not me). I drove the drunk doughboy home around 2 (which was only 1 – yay!) and poured him to bed.

It turned out to be an okay time but I still can’t shake the yucky feeling in my stomach for everyone flaking. One starts to wonder what the h*ll they did wrong. And also – we need some new friends.

Friday, October 28, 2005

PM: A Review

I’m always a bit harried when I’m going into a Paul McCartney concert. I want to find my seat NOW, I want to get settled before the lights dim. I want to have my beer in hand and I want to relax before the wave of energy and emotion hits me. This time was no different. I know, logically, that the BIG ACT doesn’t go on stage until well after the ticketed start time, but this doesn’t matter. What if this one time he went on right at 8? So, we hurried in, found our seats – which happened to be dead in the middle of an aisle and I relaxed and we got our beers.

The pre-show entertainment was very cool, I thought. A DJ came out and mixed various Paul McCartney, Beatles and other music. It was fantastic. The ‘older’ crowd around me was confused by this and I could hear whispers of ‘when is the real show going to start?” I thought it was great. We had cool, hip, lively music being mixed for us live and there were images of Paul’s paintings on the huge video screens. Relax…it’s coming….

Paul started the show with The Magical Mystery Tour – which if memory serves me correctly, is what he started the last show I saw him with (May, 2002 Staples Center, LA). TONS of energy. The stage was fantastic. They were standing on a stage made up of smallish video monitors. These went to the back of the stage and then curved up. The backdrop was also video monitors. This was especially cool during songs like Follow Me (off his new album Chaos & Creation in the Backyard) when there were video images of sparks falling from the top and sliding down the backdrop, rolling on the floor and ending up at the front of the stage. Fantastic visuals. It was also complimented by a live spark shower at the end of the song.

Pyrotechnics aside (for now) Paul just puts on a fantastic show. He played really old Quarrymen era tunes, to 4 songs from the new album, to classic rockin’ Wings songs and of course his tour standards. He played a great acoustic set which included I will and Blackbird and he played songs not usually heard in concert such as For No One.

I was in heaven.

He played for about 2 hours and 45 minutes. The only time he stepped off the stage where before the 1st and 2nd encores. His energy is amazing. His graciousness is impressive. He is old school; a true performer and a joy to watch.

The pyro during the encore presentation of Live & Let Die was awesome. Better than I’ve seen before (this is my 4th Paul McCartney show). The stage was ringed with fire – which as cheesy as it sounds was just plain rock-and-roll cool. The crowd loves it too. And when we all got to sing along with Hey Jude, well, there’s just something that you feel throughout the audience and it is truly wonderful. Of course, I could be biased.

He ended the show with Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – reprise as usual and I knew that this would be the last time I would see him perform live for a while. I am already eagerly awaiting the next album and the next tour.

5 Hoffner Basses out of 5

Thursday, October 27, 2005


A review of the FUCKING FANTASTIC PAUL MCCARTNEY concert coming tomorrow.

I am still basking....

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


Another migraine. Ugh. I'm starting to get a wee bit worried actually. This was almost all aura which was annoying. Oh and the part where it felt like my temples had a vice on them. That wasn't really too fun. I came home from work early and crashed for almost 2 hours! That is unusal for me (I daydream about napping mid-day all the time but rarely actually do it.). I spent the rest of the afternoon couching it and knitting and now I'm off to work on the film trailer. Hopefully the computer won't freak out my eyes.

And I made a pot roast today. Yum. I could smell it even before I walked through the door. God bless the crock pot.

Monday, October 24, 2005


My Anniversary piece is here.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Wrap Up

Another week wrapped up. Wheeee! I can't imagine how one afternoon can take SO LONG and yet the whole month of October seems to be disappearing at a quicksand rate. What's up with that?

Pictures of 'the hair' coming soon - Steve has the camera as he uses it at work and I haven't gotten a pic taken yet. Maybe tomorrow when I'm dolled up for the party.

Did I just say 'dolled up?' My mother must've momentarily inhabited my body.

Thanks for the notes about my Dad. I appreciate it. He really is probably the coolest person I have ever met in my life. He's amazing. He's the Zen Master (and he probably doesn't even know what Zen is - therefore he can be a true zen master). He's young (58) and this happened when he was 57 without warning. Good health, no problems. Weird. Here's a note. If you ever get an extreme headache - one that feels like a blast of icy cold hair blasting your face GO TO THE ER. That's what happened to him. Out on the golf course. And let me tell you, he doesn't quit a game of golf ever. But he went home to nap. Thankfully my Mom came home for lunch that day and found him a bit out of it. THANK GOD she didn't have a meeting.

Anyhoo - enough of that. Time to make some veggie soup and popovers for dinner. It's cold, rainy and crappy here today so I thought I'd try a new soup recipe. The house always smells better when you're making soup. Why is that?

Happy Friday!

Thursday, October 20, 2005


I got my hair cut last night.

It was looking all scraggly again and since I allow myself 2 haircuts a year (what is my problem?) I figured it was time. Plus I’m going to see my parents this weekend and the future in-laws and I want to look “pretty” for that.

I was going to get long layers and bangs, to keep the length and also to not have too much of a change. But instead I chopped it again. It’s cute, I think….swoopy bangs that go from one side to the other and short/spikey in back.

I’m not sure if Steve likes it. I can’t quite tell. I think he wishes it was longer.

I also changed the color. I bought Navajo Caramel Brown (do those words even go together?). It turned out a bit reddish which I wasn’t really going for but perhaps that’s because some of the blonde from March is still hanging around. I have no idea.

The only problem I’m having right now is thinking about upcoming HAT SEASON. Short hair looks like crap in hats.. It looks like you’re bald or something. How am I supposed to recapture my cross-country-ski-bunny look with no curls escaping from the bottom of my knit cap? How will I keep the back of my head warm? What was I thinking?!?!

*sigh* I’m sure it’ll still be cold by the time my hair grows out but that isn’t making me feel any better right now.


Wednesday, October 19, 2005


It was a normal Tuesday. I had spent the morning at work doing what I usually do which included lots of emails and surfing the web. I went home for lunch. So far, so good.

My phone rang. That was odd. It’s rare that my phone ever rings. Steve is usually the only one who calls and I was with him. I looked at the caller ID. My aunt. Huh. Oh god. It must be my grandparents! Something’s happened to one of them.

Little did I know it would hit much closer to home.

I remember answering the phone and hearing the words “your dad is sick. They flew him to Rochester. Your mother wants you to come as soon as possible.” I felt the breath suck out of me. I felt my knees go to water and a sense of being crushed. I instantly was sobbing and trying to comprehend what she was saying and asking her what happened.

I remember Steve’s face as he came around the corner wondering what news could cause me so much pain. The look on his face, him holding me, more tears and questioning of my aunt all swirled and danced in my brain. My aunt’s voice was calm and steady. I was freaking out. She said that my Mom asked if Steve could come with me as she didn’t want me to drive. Rochester is about 220 miles away.

After that things were swimming. I raced around the kitchen putting things away. I tried to figure out how I would/should get my car which was still in the shop. I threw several things in my suitcase – not really seeing any of it. I emailed (!) my best friend to tell her I wouldn’t be corresponding with her again that day. I think I emailed her because I couldn’t bear to say the words out loud. I couldn’t stand the thought of that out-loud acknowledgement of the horrors that were happening right now. Before we got out the door she had called me, as had one of my cousins who was in a hysterical fit herself. Another call from a friend before I left offering support and well wishes came too. It was all so surreal.

On the drive to Rochester I sat mostly silently staring out the window and wondering how this could possibly be happening to me. I was very selfish, I admit. I kept thinking oh my god, what if he dies? What if he never walks me down the aisle? Holds his grandkids? How will I possibly survive without him in my life? Tears all the while sliding down my face and pooling in my lap. It was a truly miserable experience.

I wanted some news! I was frustrated. I called the cell phones I had and got brief updates. He was out of the OR for the procedure. I didn’t even know what that was. He was still unconscious. There was a lot of family present.

We pulled up to St. Mary’s Medical Center and raced through the lobby. I asked where he was and got directions. I remember walking through the hallways and trying to keep it together. Walking down the corridor to the Neuro ICO Waiting Room. As I opened the door there were about 20 other Rossows there looking solemn. Waiting. I hugged my Mom, my Sister, my aunts and uncles and cousins and took my place among them.

My mom was doing okay. She is an amazing woman. Strong. Calm. And incredible. I was a wreck. It’s no secret that I’ve always been the dramatic one. The emotional one. We sat. We waited. We chuckled as the various cell phones rang with all their silly chimed tunes. We had pizza. It was all so weird.

Later that night they said a few of us could go in. Have Carrie go in. She hasn’t seen him yet. And I felt so bizarre. I felt that I was getting special treatment but not the kind of special treatment you ever want. I was being singled out because I was part of the immediate family. It was most dire for us.

My Dad laid there unconscious in the ICU. It was terrifying. I knew I had to be strong and support him even if he didn’t know we were there but seeing him like that shifted my universe. My Dad is a superhero and here he lay, helpless. Lifeless.

He was breathing with the help of a tube, he was restrained, he was blinking and dripping and there was a hole in his skull. He wouldn’t wake up.

After watching one of the doctors try to wake him by using smelling salts and other awkward techniques I felt… empty. I felt like I was seeing something I wasn’t supposed to see. It wasn’t time for me to be the adult and to step in the role of caretaker.

That night passed as did the next and the next. Hazy, exhausted, emotionally drained. My Dad woke up the next day but was fuzzy for several days. The first time I saw him and he called me “Care-Bear” I knew that things would be okay.

He was in the hospital for several weeks. He had a headache for 8 weeks or so afterwards. He slowly got better and better and today you’d never know that a year ago today he had a sub-arachnal hemotoma*. That day changed my life and I will never forget it.

Some anniversaries you celebrate. Some you look skyward and thank the lord that you were spared an early departure by your dad.

*I have no idea how this is spelled and couldn’t find it anywhere online. It’s bleeding from a blood vessel near the brain (on top of?) I am not a doctor. Obviously.

Monday, October 17, 2005


...5 days to engagement party

...9 days to Paul McCartney concert

...17 days to first Newton's Disease screening

...19 days to second Newton's Disease screening

...26 days to wedding dress shopping


...26 days to my best friend's baby shower!

...340 days til my wedding...

busy busy busy!

Sunday, October 16, 2005

I Can See Clearly Now

A busy weekend yet again...

Yesterday we drove up to Grand Marais, Mn - about 110 miles north/east of Duluth on Lake Superior. Steve had a couple of job related activities and I went along for the ride. We also went a ways up the Gunflint Trail which is spectacular, as always. The leaves were past-peak but it was beautiful nonetheless.

On the way back to Duluth we stopped and hiked Oberg Mountain. For those of you who live where there are REAL mountains, it would probably make you chuckle that Oberg Mountain is 1,555 feet tall. Ah well. We take what we can get here in MN. It was incredible. The hike loops the top of the mountain offering incredible panoramic views of Lake Superior, the forest everywhere, Moose Mountain (Lutsen skiing for those of you familiar with the area), Leveaux Mountain and Oberg Lake and MORE trees to the west. We watched a spectacular sunset followed by an equally impressive moonrise. It was fanstastic.

Then off to Lutsen Resort for dinner. I have been harboring a gift certificate for about a year now and it expires soon so we treated ourselves:

hot artichoke dip with lavosh crackers
Lutsen North Shore Salad - mixed greens, wild blueberries, candied pecans (!!), feta cheese topped with blueberry vinagrette. Delish
Potato encrusted walleye w/wild rice pilaf.

Dinner was fantastic. Service sucked. I'm sure that story will be a different entry as it really got my blood pressure up. Thank god the food was good.

Today it was up early to work on things around the house. We worked on the porch (a little), washed EVERY WINDOW IN THE HOUSE - which sooooo desparately needed to be done, but was a huge pain in my ass, cleaned up some yard things, scrubbed 2 litter boxes, 2 sets of cat food bowls and knitted. I was going to watch the Vikings game but it was SO INCREDIBLY LAME that I would rather wash my windows. That's saying something....

Now I'm waiting for Steve to finish off some work things and then we're going to watch a silly movie. Eurotrip.

Tomorrow, alas, is Monday. Poop.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

One of my favorite shots from my NEW FINISHED FILM 'Newton's Disease' Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

A New Game

I often read the headlines with lightening speed on the Yahoo homepage and sometimes I read two at once and combine them and go....huh? So, I've decided to make it into a game. Play along at home! It's fun!!

The Rules:
Combine two headlines from your favorite news source. You have to use at least 2 words from each headline. And voila! Funny news.

My faves from Friday:

Prosthetic dog testicle angers Vatican.

Palestinian Police give Bush more War Funds

Senate votes to ponder future after Katrina

California school plan[s] sexual theme park.

Singapore jails sexiest woman.

DC police evacuate U.S. economy.

Singapore jails bloggers found in Iraq since April.

Monday, October 10, 2005

We took a Hike

Yesterday we threw off the burden of housework and house projects and decided to bask in what may very well be one of the last nice days of the year. We took a 2 hour drive to Ely, Minnesota which is, in all aspects of the idea, in the middle of nowhere. It's a charming town filled with little storefronts on the two main streets offering mostly outfitters wares and a few assorted cafes and bars. It is on the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness so business is brisk in the summer but slows considerably in the winter. The grocery stores (there are two) close at 4pm on Sundays. There is one movie theatre which plays one movie. There is no mall. The closest thing to a discount department store is a Pamida combined with a Hardware Hank across the street. I love it. It reminds me of Northern Exposure to a degree and I have romantic ideas about living there.

However, in reality I need Target. I need Cub. I need to see plays and movies. I need to have options when I eat and I need to be closer to the world than 2 hours on a windy road. So, it's a great place to visit. Steve already has lived there. He went to school there for 2 years and was more than ready to move away. So now we visit. Actually yesterday was my first "official" visit.

We hiked around Dry Lake in the Superior National Forest - just off the Echo Trail. There is also a Bass Lake trail that I'm sure we'll tackle some day. 4+ miles, a picnic on the rock, awesome glacial rocks with gouges in them from the sheer force of nature, beautiful scenery, agressive ground squirrels and a lovely hiking companion. It was a fabulous autumn day.

Yellow, Green and Blue. Posted by Picasa

Beavers at work! Posted by Picasa

Dry falls going into Bass Lake. Posted by Picasa

Autumn reflections on Bass Lake. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Gardening can be scary. These are my "carrots" which I harvested the other day (soaking in the sink). Um, they don't quite look like carrots I usually eat....hmmm.... Posted by Picasa

Friday, October 07, 2005

Happy Hour


I just got back from Happy Hour so I'm SUPER SUPER CHATTY and will gladly chat with anyone who is here....which is no one. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

BUT a Paul McCartney song just started playing (Jenny Wren - if you havne't checked out his new album - do so!! it really is great...and I'm not just saying that because I'm a huge fan. Okay, maybe I am but check it out anyway because it is really really good.)

iTunes Help v. 2

Okay - in order to be more specific about the kind of iTunes help I need here are the last 25 artists that were played from my iTunes library that aren't Paul McCartney. Paul McCartney is a given, non-negotiable and his concert a mere 19 days away (i've seen him 3 other times, but never in St. Paul and never in 2005).

Pink Floyd
Gear Daddies
The Killers
Joss Stone
Paul McCartney (okay, I couldn't resist!)
Jill Sobule
Counting Crows
The Replacements
Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers
Damien Rice
Amos Lee
Liz Phair
The Postal Service
Tori Amos
Badly Drawn Boy

okay that's 23 that's all I have without duplicates (I lie, some of them are dupes and I had to go back a bit farther. But you get the idea....right?!?). These are of course not in order of how much I like them (duh, PM would be on top otherwise, yes, I'm slightly obsessed, I know)....but I do like them all and more but hopefully that's a! suggestions?

*note, many of those I just have one song from or a couple songs from but I like and want more so any any any suggestions are welcome. :-)

Thursday, October 06, 2005

iTunes help

My good friend SO just gave me an iTunes gift certificate as a belated b-day present (yay! I love belated b-day presents!!). The problem head is not in the game right now. I don't even know what I want....

So, dear internet, I'm asking for song suggestions...

Fire Away!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The view looking to the south side of the basement. Thank god for pallets! Posted by Picasa

View from the sump pump on Monday, er, ah Tuesday morning. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


Happy 300th post to me!



Steve stayed up with the sump pump last night until about 4am. I went back to bed around 2:30. I couldn't do anything anyway except hope the rain would stop. Right now it's "holding" (meaning no more water is coming in....) but the radar looks horrible (check it out zip code 55806) so I'm not sure how much longer we will be without 'new' water. *sigh* At least the sewer problem has stopped. Ugh.

I love a good storm, but this is ridiculous!!


It's 1:07am. I am up out of bed because it's been POURING RAIN for the last 3 hours. The thunder and lightening have been great but the fact that my basement is flooding is SO NOT GREAT. We have everything on pallets or tables or whatever but it won't matter before long. And the sewer has started to back up. I'm tired and now stressed and have to deal with a nasty situation. Steve went to his Dad's about 15 minutes ago to nab a portable sump pump. This is just awful. :-(