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2004-06-02 - 11:44 a.m.

I learned something sad recently; Jimmie won't be able to come up to D.C. for the 4th of July. Too bad! But it's been a few days since I heard this, and I've gotten over this disappointment. The subsequent road trip could have been a lot of fun, but the East Coast will always be there.

Aside from this bit of news, this past weekend was fun. Katie and Tony are in town, and I spent time with them as well as with Jacob and Arne. On Saturday we went over to Tony's house and enjoyed a nice meal they made for us with goods purchased from the farmer's market. We were all going to go down there that morning, but the weather has been terrible. Terrible! No less that morning than any other. Cold and rainy.

We made the best of it and played some badminton in strong winds later that day with a new set recently purchased by Tony. It was kind of a crappy set if you ask me, but for $20 it's a steal. We also played some Trivial Pursuit. I was on a team by myself and did poorly, but had fun.

Jacob, Arne, and I left after Katie and Tony chose to study some Portuguese, and we walked around Purgatory Park in the crappy weather. Poor Arne had a headache. We were debating on what to do, and we ended up eating mac & cheese with tuna and a salad at my house. Arne and I drank a bottle of wine, and his headache went away. Jacob sat on the couch and Arne and I were drunken chatterboxes for the rest of the evening until they left.

The next day I went to Minnihaha Falls with Jacob, Arne, and Katie. Tony stayed behind, as he was not feeling well. He'd had a nasty spill on his bike a few days before and was not sleeping well as a result, so he stayed back and slept. The weather was awful, but we decided to go down there anyway, because you can't stay inside forever. It was raining when we got there. Jacob brought out an umbrella and we walked down to the falls. As we were walking to the Mississippi River, the clouds parted and the sun came out. We walked and sat by the river for awhile, and made note of how high Minnihaha creek is this year, and how strong the current is. We went back to a grassy area and played badminton for awhile. As we were going back to get ice cream, it started raining again. Jacob and Arne wanted Dairy Queen, but I opted for the ice cream at the cafe they have near the falls; far superior, and less expensive. But Arne doesn't have Dairy Queen or soft serve ice cream in Germany, or so he told us as he was enjoying his plain vanilla soft serve cone. I mean really enjoying it.

We walked back in the rain to the car, and mused how it was as though the clouds left us just long enough to get a short hike and a few games of badminton in. Thanks a heap, clouds.

When I got home, I drove over to Aunt Barbara's house where a Cotterfest was taking place. Barbara, Larry, Mary, Ron, Rick and his kids, Theresa and Mark and their kids, Bob and Nancy, and my parents and I were there. I showed up the first round of what ended up being a triple pot of 4-5-6, that gambling dice game I believe I wrote about previously. It was fun, but most people left after that game. I stayed for a little while and talked with Aunt Mary and Barbara, and then went home.

Monday, we celebrated my dad's birthday. He was anxious to get out to the race track, but he opened our presents first. He seemed excited about the linen pants and liked the idea of the Barnes & Noble gift card. The Scrabble book turned out to suck, as the list of 2 letter words was incomplete. :[ And mom was right about the coffee maker: "Why? Don't you like the one we already have?" was what he said when he opened it. He hasn't set it up yet, and mom thinks it won't be until she does it for him this weekend. I'm excited to try it and see if the extra money put into a better coffee maker really makes any difference.

We had a great time at the racetrack. Dad rented a table for us and we watched the races from our lofty perch as people waited on us. Or waited on us in theory; we ended up getting the buffet and our own drinks with the 2 for 1 coupons I brought. We stayed through 9 races, and even though I lost most of them, dad ended up ahead for the day, thanks to picking 4 of 6 horses for the pick 6. Normally most people don't win much for that, or win anything at all, but the best anyone did for the pick 6 that day ended up being 4 of 6, so he won $51. Mom was hot too, and placed a few well chosen $5 bets. Canterbury Park can be a lot of fun. If Jimmie ever agrees to go back there I'll make him go with Dad because his enthusiasm for the races is contagious.

We saw a nasty tumble on one of the first races. A horse hit the inside railing, flinging the jockey over the fence, and fell down on his neck. But the horse got up and started trotting around, and seemed to be ok. The jockey however laid there for what seemed to be forever, not moving. Then he slowly got up and limped around. An ambulence came but he walked away from it, with the help of some other people, and even rode in a few more races that day. What a show!

That night, I went over to Tony's to watch "The Road to Wellness," which I mistakenly believed would be a somewhat historical documentary on the life of Kellogg. It turned out to be loosely based on Kellogg's ideas on wellness and the main story being on a few of the people that went to his sanitarium, as well as a story about a cereal foods competitor, all invented. Anthony Hopkins played Kellogg, Dana Carvey played a very creepy role, John Cusack played the competitor, and Matthew Broderick played an "unwell" fellow looking to get better. Although it seemed to have the elements for a great movie, it in fact sucked, and I give it 3 of 10. I brought some wine and fancy cheese over, and that at least was a success.

I now come to the story I had originally intended to write about before realizing I had some catching up to do. I was extremely tired this morning, and at work I was still tired, as were a few of my coworkers. Kelly convinced me to get some coffee over at Caribou and pick her up a hot chocolate as well. Cindy gave me $20 and told me to treat myself, and also to pick her up a coffee as well. So I went over and ordered her coffee, Kelly's hot chocolate, and my usual vanilla carmel latte. For some reason, people can't seem to fit their mind around vanilla AND carmel being in a latte, and there's usually several questions about it whenever I order it. Today however, this person totally confused the orders, and put in a request for vanilla and carmel to be added to the hot chocolate! When it came up and I explained what I really had wanted, they were so apologetic, and I got to keep the new concoction in addition to the hot chocolate and v.c. latte, which ended up being far cheaper than it should have been since it was rung up as a crazy hot chocolate only.

This is a very small thing, but it made me so happy. Not to mention, the sun is out! It rained all day yesterday and frankly these gray skies and cold rain have made me so crabby. It's June! WHY are we still bringing jackets to work! Today however, Jacob and I sat outside for lunch for the first time in about a month, and enjoyed the secret peanuts from Canterbury and soaked up some sunshine. Without jackets on! And I related the story of my free crazy drink, and things seemed good.

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