Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Angie, this is for you-I'm posting again! The reason I'm posting today is to direct readers to the following link:

I don't know how to add a link yet so you can't just click on the above and go directly to the article. You'll probably need to cut and paste-sorry.

If you're not from Minnesota, chances are you've not heard of Katherine Kersten. She is an "opinion" writer for the Star Tribune newspaper. Her rants have become legend in these parts, and always good for a laugh. I don't know why the Star Tribue keeps this kook on the payroll. The Star Tribune can't be serious so it must just be for comic relief. Katherine should be one of the journalists Michelle Bachmann should employ for her "great look at the views of the people in Congress and find out: Are they pro-America or anti-America?"

So Angie, here it is. I can hear you squealing as you read this.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Easter Trivia

A lot of people are talking about how early Easter is this year. I mean, in Minnesota we just got a couple of inches of snow. But I didn't know this information, originally posted on the Luther College website:

Easter is early this year. Easter is always the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox, March 20. This dating of Easter is based on the lunar calendar that Hebrew people used to identify Passover, which is why it moves around on our Roman calendar.

This year is the earliest Easter any of us will ever see the rest of our lives. Only those 95 and above have ever seen it this early. And none of us have ever, or will ever, see it a day earlier. Here are the facts:

· The next time Easter will be this early (March 23) will be the year 2228. The last time it was this early was 1913.
· The next time it will be March 22, will be in the year 2285. The last time it was on March 22 was 1818.

We won't ever have to complain about Easter coming early ever again.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I've Been Removed

I was reading some other blogs today, and happened upon a friend's blog: She cleaned me out of her links list, evidently because I haven't posted since 21 February. But, I have an excuse-I was for the past 2 weeks involved in my final opera of the 2007-2008 Minnesota Opera season.

The Fortunes of King Croesus. What can I say? First, the music is beautiful, and was sung by some of the best voices I've heard in a long time. It really was an experience to have every voice of such quality sing this overlooked piece. I hope it gains a place in the Baroque rep.

That being said, the rehearsal process was long and tiring. Not because we had so much to do-just the opposite. Long periods of time were spent sitting in the green room reading, knitting, and watching people play Dominoes. I lost my cool on the last night of tech, the final dress rehearsal, when we staged the bows. I said very loudly "this is taking longer than the staging of the chorus throughout the show." But I was being blasted by a very bad sinus headache, and wasn't in the mood to stand around and then be directed on how to leave the stage. Ugh.

I spent a lot of time knitting one of my nephews a sweater for NEXT Christmas (see previous post). It will be in pieces, and I'll have to find someone to put it together when I'm done. The body of the sweater is done in an English Rib Stitch-purl one row across, and then knit 1 purl 1 back. I was quite far along, when I discovered I made a mistake and the ribs weren't lining up-must have purled when I should have knit or vice versa. Anyway, the carrying on in the green room distracted me several times, so I think I ripped and started again at least 3 times. There are certain areas of the world one (or at least I) cannont knit which requires concentration: the green room at the Ordway Center in St Paul. Socks would be a good project in those conditions.

So now I'm going to be a recluse for a while. It's tough working all day, going to the theatre, and having to be "up" several nights a week. Couple that with losing an hour of sleep on Saturday night, and NO nap to make up for it on Sunday (a show that day), I am ready to sit on the couch in our den,knit or read, one of the cats looking for attention from me, and watch the lurid Eliot Spitzer story unfold.

Catch up with Cate--will you put me back on your links??

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Christmas Knitting 2008

Christmas knitting for 2007 was a bust. I attempted too much and started too late. So now those scarves, many in progress, will be given as birthday gifts throughout the year. But...

I wanted to make my 2 nephews sweaters for Christmas. Never even got started on them. I decided in the past couple of days to start them now, and then those projects will be done by Christmas. It feels weird knitting gifts 10 months hence. And then my sisters (3) saw me working on Christmas stockings at Thanksgiving and they kept saying how cool they were. I guess a not so subtle hint isn't lost on me. So, in between sweaters, I'll do Christmas stockings. But I won't use worsted weight yarn. The pattern I have can be done in chunky yarn too, on size 10 needles. Those should knit up quick. Funny thing is that beyond a scarf for myself when I started knitting, I haven't done anything else for me. As you can see by the sidebar, I've got a couple things going for myself-and they have been languishing too long.

I'm not in a bad place, compared to other folks. Yesterday I did a Google search on people who have multiple knitting projects in progress. Some people have had sweaters on the needles for 21 years! How could they remember where they left off? Socks seem to be the worst offender-second sock syndrome. But I felt better knowing that I am far far away from having boxes under the bed of unfinished projects.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Stepford Wife

Last night I drove home from MN Opera rehearsal and heard that Obama and McCain had won in Wisconsin. Of course, being a news junky, I had to stay up and watch the blah blah blah analysis of why they won, etc. Amidst this blathering, clips of Cindy and John McCain flashed across the screen. My only thought about Ms McCain is she looked like a Stepford Wife. The smile is so fake. And those eyes! Please, no more pictures of Cindy McCain-she scares me!

Friday, February 15, 2008


Here is a letter I received in my spam email at work today:

Dear Friend,
I am MRS CELIA SANDRA BOTHA, a mother of three children and Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly: Democratic Alliance (Parliament), Cape Town; House Chairperson:
National Assembly, Free State, South Africa.

You can view my profile here:

After discussing with my children, I decided to contact you for your assistance in assisting us in clearing a huge sum of money which my husband deposited with a finance and security company, we want you to stand as the beneficiary of this money because I can not do it due to my position in government.

My late husband Mr Andries Botha died while he was on a business trip to Trinidad and Tobago in 2007. After his death, I discovered that he had some funds in a dollar account which mounted to with this finance and security company.

This money emanated as a result of an over-invoiced contract which he executed with the Government of South Africa. Though I assisted him in getting this contract but I never knew that it was over-invoiced by him. I am afraid that the government of South Africa might start to investigate on contracts awarded from 2002 to date and if this is discovered, they will confiscate it and seize his assets here in South Africa and this will definitely affect my political career and position in government.

I want your assistance in clearing this money from the finance and security company and as soon as the money is cleared, you are expected to move it immediately into another personal bank account in your country. As soon as you have confirmed the fund into your account, I will send my eldest son with my Attorney to come to your country to discuss on business investments.

For your assistance, I will offer you a certain percentage of this amount as we will agree upon. However, you have to assure me and also be ready to go into agreement with me that you will not elope with the money upon transfer by you.

If you agree to my terms, kindly as a matter of urgency send me an email. Due to my sensitive position in the South African Government, I would not WANT you to call me on phone or send a fax to me. All correspondence must be by email to my private email or if I have your phone number I will endeavor to call you from time to time and when it is convenient to do so.

If you want to speak with my Attorney, that is fine and okay by me. His chambers will be representing my interest with you. All correspondence must be made either to my Attorney or send me an email. I will also like you to give me your contact address, telephone, fax and email to enable my Attorney call or reach you from time to time. I shall explain to you what to do and how much that is involved when I hear from you.

Please I do not need to remind you of the need for absolute Confidentiality if this transaction must succeed. YOU MUST NOT CALL ME!
Here is my private emails:

If you do not feel comfortable with this transaction, do not hesitate to discontinue.

Thanks for your anticipated co-operation and my regards to your family.

Yours faithfully,


This is just bizarre!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

With a little help from my friends

So I goofed when I posted minutes ago. I wanted a link to The Meema Files and my friend Scott at Going 40 in a 20 Zone told me what to do.
When I tried it the Meema Files didn't work. Let's see if the link to Going 40 works. If it does I will feel as if I have conquered the world.

Please Stand By

I was at St Paul's Episcopal church choir rehearsal last night, and several choristers asked when I was going to post again, (I didn't think anyone was reading this blog), including pictures from my 50th birthday party. And as Angie at pointed out, I am no longer approaching 5o-I am 5o. So a 3 day weekend is approaching, and scheduled events include a Minnesota Opera rehearsal Saturday morning, and a church service on Sunday. I will catch up on blogging, and learn how to post pics. I also intend to read and knit. BTW-am reading a fantastic book called Suite Francaise-not much action, but quite descriptive of how the French felt as the occupation of France began. The first part is called Storm In June and tells the story of how people from different walks of life deal with fleeing Paris. The second part is called Dolce, and is about how a small village develops relationships with its occupiers. I just started this part, so I hope to finish the novel this weekend. If I finish I can delve into one of the books I got for my birthday!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Do Not Admit Guilt

I have made it to (almost) age 50 without a car accident (ask me about that ugly fire hose incident when I was in college-that was the only traffic violation I've ever had). Until yesterday.

Decided to stop off at a downtown Minneapolis retail establishment that has a smallish parking lot. I pulled into a spot, and realized it was the handicapped slot. So I started backing up, checking about me, and wham-I hit something.(at this point I'm not sure who hit who). Got out of the car to be encountered by 2 twentysomethings yelling at me, the usual "didn't you hear me honk, didn't you look" etc. I looked at my car and saw nothing wrong. I looked at their car-the back bumper had some damage to it-like part of it was missing. The guy of this duo pointed to a dent above the right wheel well. He said that was where the damage was.

The 20something girl came over and was distraught. Her boyfriend said she got hit about 3 days ago in the front of this same car and that's why she was so upset. He said we had 2 options: I could call my insurance company right there and admit I hit them, or we could call the police.

I couldn't get over why I should call my insurance company. We exchanged the requisite insurance information, then I called Richard and told him what was going on. As I was in the car talking with him the 20something woman is yelling at me "who are you talking to? you are the rudest person I have ever met! You really need to get a new attitude! You never even said you were sorry! " When she asked me again who I was talking to, I said "my partner." Evidently boyfriend didn't hear her because he said "what did he say." She said "he's gay!"

They wouldn't let up on this rant of calling my insurance company. So I said I'd call the police instead. As I was calling, I could see them going through their car and they proceeded to empty a trash can from their car into the garbage can in front of the store. Wondered what all that was about?

Don't know how it transpired, but they called the police who said we could file a report with, and call our insurance companies to report the accident. 20something couple then told the police they didn't need to come.

Any guesses about 1) what was being discarded and 2) why they were so against calling the police? ?

Thursday, January 17, 2008


Things have been bad in the Pietz/Jorgensen household as of late. It all started last month when we signed up for the City of Minneapolis Wi-Fi service. The modem, called a Ruckus, arrived December 14th. It was then I realized that this wasn't wireless. The Mac still had to be plugged into the modem. So this was not appealing-I want to be able to wander from room to room with my Mac.

We couldn't get a good signal, and I still wanted this to be truly wireless. So I went out and bought a router. Still no good because the signal was bad, and dealing with the support at Belkin was not a happy experience (think calling India). The easy startup cd was a nightmare. So I packed up everything and decided I couldn't deal with these problems until after our vacation and the whole holiday whirl was over.

Deceided to try again last Friday. I never should have started this after work and before Men's Knit Night at the Yarnery. I got so involved I didn't get out of the house for Knit Night, and I heard it was a really fun time. Sorry Scott and Eric.

Called USI Wireless on Friday night and they said they would send out a super-duper modem. It is basically the same Ruckus, only with an antenna attached to the modem. The new Ruckus arrived yesterday, so I set it up. Same thing. Bad signal. What to do. Called USI Wireless this morning and explained that the new Ruckus didn't help matters. They called back with 2 options: 1. For another $50 they would come out and put an antenna on our house. 2. We could cancel the service and get a full refund.

Guess which option I chose. I must say they were very nice about the whole thing. Didn't have to threaten calling our city council person or other friends in high places. So, back go the 2 Ruckus modems. We'll stay with Comcast for now. And I'll go out and buy an Airport to have the truly wireless experience in our house. This has taught me to not jump on the next new thing until the next new thing is about 2 years old.

We go to another Packer playoff extravaganza on Sunday. (I guess I need to say why I'm a Packer fan-I grew up in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, 30 miles from Green Bay and my aunt and uncle and cousins lived about 3 blocks from Lambeau Field). This time our friends Terry and Susan are going to be making Northeastern Wisconsin chili along with the brats from Maplewood Meats in Green Bay. This basically means elbow macaroni in the chili. A co-worker strolled by my desk today said "I guess you'll be pulling for the Packers this weekend" and then started to throw stats at me-finally coming to the point that the Packers could be the only team able to beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl. My eyes glazed over and I just agreed with everything he said. Luckily my phone rang, and I said "oops, gotta take this." Saved by the bell.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Tough Love

My friend Eric over at had to practice some tough love with me the other day. Eric was the first person to teach me the basics of knitting 2 years ago-and with much patience he helped me get through my first scarf. I still depend on him and Scott (his partner) at for my sometimes dumbass knitting questions.

Anyway, the other day I was asking him what class I should take at our FYS (Favorite Yarn Store) The Yarnery in St Paul. I was thinking about the class in knitting an Aran sweater. Eric suggested I wait a bit before taking that class. At first I thought he was telling me I didn't possess the skills to tackle an Aran sweater. But when he elaborated, he said he was practicing tough love with me, because of the vast number of projects I have going.

So my New Years resolution is to have no more than 3 projects going at any one time. I'm kind of embarrassed because the scarfs I promised for my family for Christmas weren't done in time, so now they will become birthday presents scattered through the next 12 months. Luckily, we have a lot of fall/winter birthdays in our family. But I was putting myself through way too much torture trying to get like 12 scarves done. So, right now, I am working on a Knitting Pure and Simple v-neck sweater for myself, a reversible cable scarf (again for me), and a pair of socks. My sister's birthday is February 10 and her scarf is almost complete except for the weaving in of ends. Ok, so I guess I can have 4 projects going-the scarves for birthday presents really don't count (I'm rationalizing here).

I also sorted yarn over the past couple of days. One bin has yarn for the presents. Another has sock yarn, another has just odds and ends, and some stuff I won at a fundraiser last May, and finally, the bin for felted projects-I made a bunch of felted bowls for Christmas presents for Richard's family and other friends-luckily all those got done. But I still have yarn for several more bowls. I am feeling less schizo and more organized about my knitting obsession. But Eric, when you read this, I'd still like to take the Aran sweater class.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

He's back...

I've had several people ask when I'm going to get back to the blog-honestly, I don't know, and I haven't had time to figure out all the cool stuff a person can do on a blog, like pictures, video, etc. That is why I've been reluctant to post anything.

Our Christmas party last Saturday night was a blast. I believe we had 40 people crammed into our house, but nobody seemed to mind. Food was great, (thanks, honey) and several new people came which made things even more fun. One especially shy person (or so she says she is in social settings) said she didn't think this was like a typical cocktail party-people making small talk, but nobody really saying anything. She said she got into some really good discussions-which doesn't surprise me because most of our friends are pretty political. It also was a good thing that we had Richard's former boss, former Secretary of State of Minnesota, Joan Growe, in attendance. Richard was her chief aide in the days she was Secretary of State. She even introduced me to Vice President Walter Mondale at a Humphrey Day dinner right after Richard and I met 10 years ago.

So now it's on to my 50th birthday surprise party for me, which is fine because I get to make some decisions about what I would like. When Richard turned 50 several years ago I did a surprise party for him, and it turned out great-but he didn't have a say in anything. He said he couldn't surprise me on my 50th because it had already been done. So it's going to be smorgasbord and I'm hoping people wear their Norwegian sweaters. Maybe this weekend I'll get to figure out posting pics and stuff like that. But then again, maybe not. Friday is Men's Knit Night at the Yarnery in St Paul, and Saturday is the first Packer playoff game. I may have to blog as the game progresses. Wonder if I can blog and watch the game at the same time? Stay tuned.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Yes, 50 really is the new 40! Or so Dennis Hopper says in an Ameriprise commercial.

So the picture you see is me at age 2 and my baby sister Sue, age 1. We're 369 days apart in age.

Age 50 arrives next month. I was thinking the other night I was always the one to hit the milestone birthdays before the rest of my friends. Now that was important when I turned 18 and it was legal to drink at 18 in Wisconsin. I was one of the first of my friends to be able to consume alcohol (legally). It was less fun at age 40 and even less so at age 50, when I think of my friends who will remain in their 40's for several more months.

So I start a blog at age 50. Do other people care what really goes on in my life? I don't know-but I'm learning that a blog is more than just a rehash of events-some of my blogger friends put really cool stuff on their blog, so I'm hoping to add some cool stuff of my own. I've got a lot to learn, like how to add pictures, favorite blogs, lists, etc. But it won't happen this weekend.

Tonight Richard and I are having a best bud of mine from Luther College class of 1980 for dinner. Michael lives in San Francisco, teaches music in Marin. We'll be having another Luther alum (class of 1979), who was a friend in college, now lives in Mpls and is one of the areas favorite actresses, as well as the voice of the Hiawatha Light Rail Line (you know "50th street station, exit left.") Am really looking forward to seeing Michael-it's been over 10 years since we last saw each other.

Friday we go to Scott's 40th birthday party-which I expect will have about a gazillion attendees.
Scott's blog is at and you can read his thoughts about turning 40. I remember it well.

Saturday Richard and I host our annual Christmas party-yes, it's ok because the 5th is the 12th day of Christmas. And Sunday we collapse.