Stressy McStresserton

There was a news article (which led to blog posts) not that long ago that proclaimed that people who are always late live longer. Which, YES, I WILL. The premise is that people who are chill about being late are generally more chill about all of the things, and therefore less stressed.

I totally believe it.

Caring about being late is THE WORST.

Mila had a weirdly timed dance class today. I would never EVER sign her up for a class at 4:15 on a work day, but whatever. Sometimes the studio moves classes because of recitals and basically it's the dumbest. Still, Mila super loves the classes, so I left work early to rush her across town so she could tap her little toes.

It takes about 20 minutes to get there. No big deal.

EXCEPT, some jerk in a Toyota decided it was Sunday and we're going to sloooooowly cruise along THE ENTIRE WAY. What normally takes 20 minutes instead took over 30 and WTH, PEOPLE. MOVE. It was a windy, hilly road, so there was no way to get around the slowest driver ever.

Mila made it to class on time (barely), but not until after I swore under my breath about 2963539520348 times. It was SO stressful.

But then it got worse. I had Alexis with us, which was good because she needed to be at cheer practice 45 minutes after Mila's dance class ended. It's a 20 minute drive as well, so EASY PEASY! I even got brave and stopped at Taco Bell along the way so the Big Kid could eat something before her 2-hour long practice.

It was 5:21 when I placed our order for a crunch wrap and some nachos. It was 5:30 when the two cars in front of me cleared the way and I got to the drive thru window. It was 5:48 when I sped off without actually getting food nor a refund because I think every Taco Bell employee vanished into thin air. *POOF* They were gone and I didn't see a single sign of them from the time I handed over money until I gave up on ever eating again.

I felt every single one of those seconds and minutes. Twenty times over.

And then I found the other Pittsburgher who drives 15 mph under the speed limit. I ended up stuck behind him for 25 minutes because pffffft. 20 minute drive. So silly! That little windy road is meant for driving slowly!


It took exactly one day of caring about being on time for me to learn what stress is all about. I'd like to never do that again, please and thank you.


Mission Lefse

I just spent a few days in Minneapolis, which was an entirely purposeful thing. I could have picked the work trip to San Diego or New Orleans, but Minneapolis holds a special place in my heart so I beat down everyone on my team at work and declared Minnesota mine ALL MINE.

I don't understand why nobody fought me about it. Weird. It's almost like they were happy to go to San Diego or New Orleans instead.

The last time I went to Minneapolis was to help facilitate a huge training event for Target store managers. I used to be fully qualified to lead training on workplace violence response, including active shooters. That was like 10 years ago, so obviously I was ahead of the curve. I was so ahead of it that no amount of money could get me to go back to it. I curved right on out of that picture, and I did it because of that training. We opened the sessions with a compilation video from Target store security camera footage. I didn't set foot in a Target for months afterwards. I didn't need to know that a cashier was once stabbed with a screwdriver or that a customer was shoved in the trunk of a car or any of the other long list of violent things that had happened where cameras could see. At Target. MY BELOVED TARGET. Even if discovering crazy things can happen at the happiest store on Earth did ruin me for a bit, it was comforting to know that Target invested a crapton of money in training their managers. They did it before it was the "trendy" (::sigh:: shootings should never be "trendy") thing to do.

Still, that trip to Minneapolis was a good one, and so were the several I made there before that. It's like going back home to North Dakota, but without all the nothingness and general horror that is the town where I grew up. I prefer metropolitan areas, so Minot's 40,000 people was never enough for me.

I had one mission while in Minneapolis -- find lefse. I need to post a recipe for it at some point because it is one of the greatest foods on earth. I am perfectly capable of making it, but it's even more fun not to. Lefse is basically a soft flour tortilla, except that it's made with mashed potatoes instead of flour. It's ... AMAZING. Perfection. Happiness. All the good things that are childhood holiday foods. I wanted lefse and I didn't want to peel potatoes to get it.

It was a noble mission.

And I succeeded. That was just one problem -- Minneapolis is a freakin cool city. Seriously. It's cool in the way that Prince was cool. He didn't need to tell you how cool he was; he just was. Every move and every note dripped with coolness. Minneapolis does that. Everything about it is cool. And then cold because it's so damn cold in Minnesota.


All of the restaurants are SO COOL. Each night I was there led to a culinary adventure with my co-workers. They knew I needed lefse, so one of them even found a place that had it on the menu. I was all sorts of excited and ordered extra pieces.

I should have known it was going to be a disappointment.

The restaurant was a farm-to-table place and had a butchery on site. Everything was super fancy. My main course was $21 cauliflower, for example. It was saffron roasted cauliflower, but still. $21. FOR CAULIFLOWER. It was really good, but, you know. CAULIFLOWER.

It was fancy cauliflower.

And the lefse was fancy lefse. They added all kinds of locally grown herbs and olive oil and THAT IS NOT WHAT LEFSE IS ALL ABOUT. They totally over fancied it and that lefse was the most disappointing lefse of all time. I didn't even know lefse knew how to be disappointing.

It was true sadness.

So now I need to plan a return trip to Minneapolis. I didn't have time to get to a local grocery store so I could buy quality, true-to-form lefse, but I will. Oh, I will.

It is my mission.


Do As I Say

Mila is a little over a week from having a birthday. If you've passed within a mile of her in the past few weeks, you knew that, of course. She mentions it nonstop. Endlessly. CONSTANTLY.

I made it worse by starting the planning on her birthday party. Alexis had her first friend party when she turned 5, so it seemed fair that Mila should start at the same age. But HOOBOY. Mila can't even with her giant mountain of excitement. I caused all kinds of trouble when I had her invitations made. So much excitement. Much anticipation.

I had custom invitations made and picked them up from getting printed this weekend. Mila was with me, so of course she had to hold the invitations the entire way home. She finger and pawed them and basically I'm sorry for all of the sticky, friends of Mila. I told her to stop touching them, but she is a very bad listener.

In the midst of her pawing, we ended up talking about who she wanted to invite. The correct answer is "her entire preschool class" but Mila seemed to think she has a say in this issue. She started listing friends from school, but then reached a name that led her to say, "She can't come because she picks her nose."

Which, well now. That's quite a reason to not invite a person to a party, I guess. The only problem is that Mila and her friends are ALL terrible about the nose picking and I know that for a fact. Mila is definitely guilty as charged to the point that I yell at her about it essentially nonstop. It. Makes. Me. Crazy. We have tissues. USE THEM.

Alexis and I both chimed in that Mila isn't one to talk while handing out nose picking as a reason to not invite someone. One of us even said, "Then I guess you can't go to the party because you do, too."

Seems fair.

Mila's response tells you everything you need to know about how she thinks, though. "I can go to my party because I don't need an invitation and it's my party so I can pick my nose if I want to."

There's a life lesson in there.