As I referenced in my previous post on Avenue Q, we enjoyed a great dinner in Minneapolis. I had snagged a groupon a month earlier, and this was the perfect opportunity to use it (although, to be fair, we were already familiar with Town Hall). Town Hall is a brewery and restaurant just a stone's throw from downtown -- at five corners -- in Minneapolis.
Their main thing is good beer augmented with good food. As is important when you visit a brew pub, we got a sampler. Matt got a beer sampler, and I elected to go for a hard cider variety.
This is Matt's beer sampler. My favorite was the dark one in the far right. It's a stout aged in bourbon barrels. It's a limited release, and we were lucky to get there before the keg was blown. I wish I could say we were intentional in this, but sometimes going with the flow leads to good things.
This is my sampler of cider. The blackthorn was, by far, the best. I let Matt have most of my cider so that I could drive home.
Now, in all this talk of libations, let us not forget the food. Thankfully, Town Hall makes it difficult to forget the food. Matt loved his fish and chips.
And this beauty was my dinner. Perfectly cooked steak, nice sauce, potatoes -- yum! And the best part was, hands down, the broccoli. It was perfectly steamed with nothing added nor needed. A delicious and balanced dinner.
Overall, a good date night. We feel lucky to be with an hour's drive of a great metro area that we have only just begun to explore.
Matt and I have been taking some time for fun. Two weeks ago, we headed up to Minneapolis to see Avenue Q at the Mixed Blood Theatre. The theatre itself is awesome; it's in a converted firehouse.
gratuitous pic of us smiling while walking around waiting for the show to start (we drove up early)
The theatre was small with open seating, so it was a great venue to take in an intimate show. I've listened to the soundtrack many times but still hadn't seen Avenue Q. We really enjoyed the Mixed Blood version. The set was small but modular to make all the different locations in the show.
If you're not familiar, the show itself is a bit . . . raunchy. It touches on many coming-of-age topics and is not for the faint of heart but also isn't too out there. We laughed a lot. I think people don't expect the show to be so adult because there are a lot of puppets in the production. You actually see the actors and the puppets, which is an interesting dimension. Definitely worth checking out if it's ever at a theatre near you.
After the show, we walked around enjoying the views of the Minneapolis skyline and the (comparatively small) Mississippi River.
We walked all the way over to one of our favorite places in Minneapolis for dinner. That will be my next blog post, so check back soon.
A week or so ago, Matt and I picked up a shepherd's hook and a finch feeder. We've had quite a bit of action from chickadees, gold finches, chipping sparrows, and more. The bird book is getting plenty of use. Matt thinks we may have seen a purple finch a time or two.
Surprisingly, Matt and I are not the most avid birders in the household. That award goes to Lucy, who spends hours each day sitting on the back of the couch while observing the wildlife.
She seems content to sit and watch. Lucy does prefer an open window. When she isn't sitting there and hears the birds chirping, she comes running. So far, she doesn't seem to faze the birds. We're hoping to get another type of feeder to attract a wider variety of birds. We live right next to woods and a ravine, so there is plenty of wildlife to go around.
Do any of you feed the birds? What is your favorite bird to watch?
In the past, I have frequently had difficulties spending my time well. When I have all day long free, I struggle with to do lists and stuff I "have" to get done. I often have this pull to relax mixed with a pull to be productive.
This time around, I gave myself a week to just be lazy. My semester was demanding and draining. Library DVDs, a pile of unread magazines, and my couch called to me. So I spent some time doing nothing and feeling good about it. And you know what? It was refreshing!
I have also spent some time subbing recently. The end of the year is a busy time, and I have mostly been covering for teachers in planning meetings for next year. I am enjoying picking up some extra cash and gaining classroom experience. And, thanks to my lazy week, I am feeling good about my time. I am not busy all day, every day, so I still have had time to waste. And, better still, working at being guilt-free about the wasted time means I sometimes come home from subbing rared up to get something done. We rearranged the bedroom, and I have a stack of stuff to give away. And Matt just found my flashlight in the couch cushions!
I'm enjoying this good time. What about all of you? Has anyone else been bit by the spring cleaning bug? And what is your enjoyable "wasted" time?
Recently, my friend Zandria wrote a lovely post on finding your passion and acting on it. The passion part is not what resonated with me; rather, I found myself drawn to a portion further down the post. Near the end, Zandria discusses the topics she has covered on her blog and the fact that she's not quite sure what her "niche" is as she continues to age. And I feel much the same way.
I have so much to say. Too much, some days. And I do still write. But I'm not always sure what to put here, in this very public forum. Especially since I am now on a career path that is quite public (teaching), I know that my words are seen beyond the people who I mean to see my blog.
This is in no way an indication that I want to quit blogging. I definitely want to keep it up! But I am just not always sure what to say. I've been out of practice this spring, and I am finding it rough to get back into practice. I'll start with some bullet points, I think.
I earned a 4.0 again this semester. This one took some significant hard work. Physics was challenging because of the topics, and genetics was hard because it was mostly review and therefore somewhat unmotivating to study (for the record, I do like genetics).
I have been watching old seasons of Grey's Anatomy. That's my favorite currently running TV show.
We've been planting some seeds in our garden, even though we'll be gone. We will see what happens. We have peas, morning glories, and some herbs in. We also bought a few tomato starts and a number of small annual flowers. Our yard is looking prettier than it has in years. Amazing what a little love will do.
I bought a bird feeder a few weeks ago. The birds have finally discovered it. The cat sits there for hours, tail twitching, just watching the goldfinches.
Well, friends, that was a much longer absence than intended. There have been so many things I wanted to share recently but not enough energy. I finished up my last final yesterday morning, and then I finalized my students' grades and turned those all in. I am happy to report that I do not have to return to school until next fall! Grades aren't all back yet, but I know that I did get a well-earned A in microbiology and my education classes. I'm still waiting on physics and genetics.
Last night and this morning, however, I'm feeling this strange nagging feeling that usually indicates I've forgotten something. Is there a paper I didn't turn in? Some reading reflection left undone? Oh, no, it must be a physics problem set! But, no, there is nothing left. And even if there was something I didn't do, that doesn't matter anymore.
It's a strange feeling, being done with class. Grad school at Michigan wasn't like this; I could always be doing more even if classes were done. I suppose, in some senses, that I probably should be doing some education reading over the summer. But I don't have to do any schoolwork, so that makes a difference. Furthermore, I have elected not to work this summer. Matt and I are taking a road trip out west for the month of July. We'll spend the rest of the summer puttering around Minnesota, decluttering around the house, and enjoying the great outdoors.
I'm excited to share with all of you! Now that school is done, I promise I will be back much more. I would make excuses for my absences, but I know the best apology is a change in behavior in the future. Consider this my first step forward. One foot, then the other; one foot, then the other.