Oh hi!

Every so often I need a break from this corner of the Internet, and last week was just such a week. Instead of writing and picking out pictures and trying to be witty and engaging and grammatically correct all at the same time, I devoured approximately seven books, marathoned PBS's "The Roosevelts: An Intimate History," and tried to perfect a cat-eye with liquid eyeliner I found while re-organizing my bathroom cabinets. The cat-eye, for those curious, was NOT a success. 

Last week I was just a little bit too tired and misanthropic to do much by way of writing. It was enough simply to have planned meals, get to bed at a decent hour, work out, accomplish what I needed to at work, and call that a success. That said, there are so many things to be excited about! It's March! It's going to be in the sixties in Minneapolis all week! There are hydrangeas in the grocery store flower stands! 

Other noteworthy items: 

-I talked to my sister Em on the phone for almost two hours last Wednesday and was inspired to go to Cincinnati to visit her when my mom goes for Jonathan's fraternity moms' weekend at the end of the month. Can't wait to hit up Over-the-Rhine, shop and eat, and spend a ridiculous amount of time catching up with her. 

-Ben Folds at the Minnesota Orchestra on Saturday night absolutely rocked my world. We had utterly spectacular seats (fourth row center, with an unblocked view of the Steinway!). He opened with "Effington," which will always have a special place in my heart after the line "If there's a God, He is laughing at us and our football team" permanently associated itself with Notre Dame football in my mind.

Additionally, someone yelled "Rock this bitch!," which any Ben Folds Five fan will know means he improvises a song containing those words. On Saturday that involved an impromptu arrangement for the full orchestra including "an emotional French horn," an alto saxophone solo that actually happened, and the best-worst first violin part ever. I was utterly transported; I remain convinced he is the epitome of a modern eccentric genius. A little "Effington," below: 

It's lucky, in a way, that my phone died, or else I might actually have tried to film the entire concert. So incredible. 

-Steve-O made a surprise appearance in Minneapolis this weekend and I essentially kidnapped him and dragged him to Spoon and Stable on Friday night. We nabbed seats at the window counter in the bar, cute Daniel was our server, and I talked him into the sweet potato agnolotti AND the creamed spinach AND dessert and, even better, cocktails at Marvel Bar afterward. He proclaimed it the "best meal ever," and I still feel like I have an invisible gold star stuck on my forehead as a result. 

-We also got to hang out with Zach, Colleen, and Coll's brother and his girlfriend! It was the best, loveliest, most random night of fighting over the Youtube queue, taking shots of whiskey (ouch) to celebrate Zach's littlest brother's basketball offer from Wisconsin, and debating the merits of various puffy, below-zero-ready coats for Colleen. I'm so incredibly happy to have those two back in Minneapolis. (Now we just need to talk Steve-O into Carlson for an MBA...)

-I've been offered and accepted a spot on the board of a foundation in the Twin Cities that works in tandem with the Saint Paul Public Schools group, and I couldn't be more excited about it. I can't wait to get started--it sounds like my background in public and strong network across the metro area will be a huge asset for the organization, and it's working with kids and teenagers, a cause about which, as I've mentioned in the past, I am incredibly passionate. 

-"Downton Abbey" aired its final episode ever on PBS last night, and I was utterly ruined for anything for that two-hour period. No spoilers for those who haven't yet seen it, but I sobbed HARD as the cameras panned away from the Abbey one last time. We're talking full-on hiccuping, gasping, hysterical ugly-cry, which required copious amounts of eye cream and several tissues to remedy after the fact. My poor heart is completely broken that the show is over. I love it so much and I am going to be despondent for a very long time. Slash might just marathon re-watch the entire thing one of these months. We'll see. 

-It bears repeating: it's going to be in the sixties this week in Minneapolis. And no fewer than three people have already brought up that it's almost rooftop drinking season, and specifically mentioned that my rooftop is high on the list. How couldn't it be, when it includes the prospect of sunsets like this? 

Cannot wait. Hi March. I like you a lot already.