July 19, 2009

It's been a year!

So this post marks the first birthday of Chaos!!! And to celebrate? I'm moving! [blog servers-not states - yet.]

As I will hopefully be finished at the UofMN soon, and I've started getting random spam comments on this blog, I'm going to switch to wordpress. The new address is,


Name is the same, the look is improved and all the posts have been moved. So I'm going to start posting there. Probably not with any sort of regularity until everything is finished and I find gainful employment, but hopefully by this fall I'll have all sorts of new things to talk about. So go on over! I'll have some sort of fun posted there!

June 22, 2009

27.4 Miles


What did you do on the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere? Well a friend and I went biking on the Gateway Trail. It was a pretty awesome ride - esp. because it starts in downtown St. Paul, but almost immediately you are in the woods and then in a very rural setting. [It even feels like you are in the middle of nowhere when you are paralleling the interstate!]

We had a deadline so we had to turn around after a bit. We turned around at the 13.7 mile mark (this is where we took this picture).

It was a great ride with sprinkling rain most of the time (which was a nice refreshing blessing in the heat). Our goal is to ride from end to end before the end of the summer. And if you check the map that means biking almost into Wisconsin! Exciting eh?

June 18, 2009

Green Thumb


While it is no chicken caper, everything is much better when there are green things growing that you have planted yourself. (Okay, so I just transplanted them from the nursery, but they are now my charges!)

We have geraniums, calla lilies, rosemary, begonias, marigolds, chocolate mint, more marigolds (really my all time favorite), another begonia and then a purple one that I've already forgotten the name of!

June 11, 2009


May 20, 2009

Fifth Time is the Charm? Must be.


Check out that snazzy hood! Yes. It is official, I participated in my fifth graduation ceremony this past Saturday. (Of course I'm counting Kindergarten!!! Who doesn't?)

It wasn't the raucous event it could have been mainly because I was reading my LEED flashcards through the entire ceremony, but also because I'm not finished yet. Going to have to wait for the all out party till we are hoping August. We'll see.

As I head to Indiana in under a week for the little brother's wedding, I told all interested family and friends to stay away, but two of my fellow MArch's (from the graduation a year ago) came! Granted one was knitting and the other was also studying her LEED flashcards, but you know it is the thought that counts. Plus it meant I had a cheering squad when they mispronounced my name again! (although not as badly as last year) We didn't take a huge amount of pics, but here is one in front of a fantastic lilac bush!


The lilacs are incredible right now, I can't see any from my window, but the smell permeates the entire city. They are simply enormous! All the color and the smell! Ah! almost makes me really like this state. Well almost, that is until I start remembering the brutal nature of January through March!

Oh and one more thing. That pesky LEED exam? WE BOTH PASSED!!!!! I can now officially add LEED A.P. to anything and everything I sign. Evidently. Although, also not sure I really want to. Well some things. And well I'm not sure it is official, all I have is the paper that Prometric embossed with my passing score. But the key word here is passing. Let us remember this as in, now I don't have to take the exam again! So CELEBRATIONS this week must be in order!

OH! One last thing - at softball last night I caught TWO fly balls! In left field! ME! (I'm still wondering if it is a bad thing to be so surprised when this happens. . . )

May 13, 2009

Katie Doyle Led An Incredible Life

That damn it all to Hades was way too short. This was the sentiment of the entire weekend. I arrived in Florida on Friday, and spent the entire weekend visiting, meeting, and reconnecting with the many people that she touched.

I won't lie, parts of this weekend were incredibly sad, while others were filled with hysterical laughter. Above all it was fantastic to be with such a large group of people who knew her and because of this, there were no strangers the entire weekend. It is simply incredible the effect that girl had.


This is me (in the hat) and two of Katie's other close friends from Mt. Holyoke. The pictures that I have that actually turned out are slim pickings, I'm hoping that other photographers are planning on posting their pics, in which case I'll pass those along. We were to dress in true Katie fashion, to those that knew her, this would be eclectic as possible. I did my best, the leopard print hat, long black gloves (well while we were in the Temple, it was just way too hot to wear them any time else) fun black dress and cowboy boots. Far and away the best headpiece belonged to Granny, Katie's maternal grandmother,


There was incredible food all weekend, starting with dinner on Friday night for family and friends from far away, then brunch the next morning, and dinner which was catered by Crackel Barrel. This because if Katie ever got married- they would have catered her wedding. Yes she was nuts! We agreed that dumplings, mashed potatoes, essentially every cooked starch in the book might have been a little much in the 95 degree weather we were experiencing, but honestly Katie would not have cared.

The party followed the memorial service and if I had to guess I bet there were more than 200 people there at one point or another. I left around 1:30 and there were still people there! All night long there were songs from various musicals, margaritas, mexican food, cake, fruit, talk and laughter. All in all this was a party Katie would have been excited to attend. The clothing alone - everything from boas to clock belts to tiaras and headbands of every nature plus everything in between. It really is too bad it was evening, and difficult to take pictures. All in all this was a party Katie would have been proud of.

I'm going to end this post with one more quote from the memorial service's program,

When asked what she loved most? She replied, "Is 'life' too general an answer? I love my family and friends, but I also love ice cream and mashed potatoes and lots of other things."

May 11, 2009



Katie's memorial/party was this weekend. It was an incredibly beautiful weekend. Filled with laughter and tears. Lots of both.

Instead of giving a play by play, which I'm afraid I wouldn't be able to give justice to, I'm going to share a few moments of the memorial service.

There were several slide shows of pictures of Katie from when she was little to now, they played a recording of her D'var Torah from last December when she compared her faith to the Wizard of Oz, many people, both from her temple, but also family and friends spoke. Including me. Let me tell you, not the easiest thing I've ever done.


This is me reading, but mom didn't want to use the flash, so it isn't the best focus ever. Note Chris's fantastic cowboy boots that she let me borrow! And of course my phenomenal hat!!!

This is what I read.

It is a fearful thing to love what death can touch.
A fearful thing to love, hope, dream:
To be - to be, and oh, to lose.
A thing for fools, this, and a holy thing, a holy thing to love.
For you life has lived in me, your laugh once lifted me, your word was a gift to me.
To remember this brings painful joy.
'Tis a human thing, love, a holy thing, to love what death has touched.

Now, if you could read this without completely breaking down when you are talking about your best friend, I'm amazed. Me? My inner dialogue was this.

Fart, fart, fart, fart, fart, farts.
Farts, fart, fart, farts.
Farts, fart, fart, farts, fart, farts, fart.
Farts, fart, fart, fart, fart, fart, farts, farts.
Fart, fart, shit, poop, explosive farts, fart, fart, fart (dialogue changed here due to almost breaking down)
Fart, Farts, farts, farts.

Knowing that Katie would appreciate the latter more, and that is the only way I could get through, I made it, with only one deep breath to stifle tears.

I wasn't as successful when Cantor Jackie sang 'Over the Rainbow.' This was the one song she hadn't been able to sing during the funeral service, which I knew, so I was expecting it, which wasn't really helpful. Cantor Jackie has a beautiful voice, she sang the Eva Cassidy version, and well - if you haven't heard this song, go to YouTube now and search for Eva Cassidy and Over the Rainbow. You will want to have time to cry.

The best moment of the evening however was when Katie's friend Kristin ended the evening with a Congo line to the song 'Mambo Italiano.' Picture it, probably over 200 people dancing in a Congo line in Temple! It was phenomenal and I'm sure Katie was looking down laughing hysterically!!! It still makes me smile.

I'm going to end this post with a quote from Katie in the program. It fits this time of year perfectly, so you should go out and enjoy the weather!!!

"It's pretty easy to make me happy because I am happy most of the time. I get extra happy on beautiful days when I have a moment to be outside to enjoy it and ya just think, 'Man! This world is great; life is good."

April 10, 2009

ioAerial Garment Purifier

So I was going to post on Pig Cat, but that is going to have to wait because I'm still chuckling over an article that I found at Fast Company instead!

image source

If you too are frustrated by everyone's ability to ignore climate change - this will make you laugh. Plus the names are just phenomenal!

April 6, 2009

NOAA says


NOAA says that there should be a high of 50 degrees for Wednesday - Thursday AND Friday this week!!! This is very exciting considering it snowed yesterday (see above) and it is currently 35.

April 3, 2009


In the Landscape History course that I sit in on on Monday's had a lecture on Japanese Gardens this past class. I love Japanese Gardens, yet another gift from my mother.

Well the guest lecturer interspersed the presentation with haiku poems by the poet Kobayashi Issa. So I immediately googled this guy and found this site. Were you aware that a haiku doesn't really have to be 5-7-5? and it is more about the two parts with a pause in between that can be spoken in one breath. The site says that, Its power as poetry often derives from juxtaposition of the two images and the sense of surprise or revelation that the second image produces. A good haiku is like a good joke: the set-up (image 1), then the punch line (image 2). Very interesting. Plus the site has a very good search engine of over 9,000 of Issa's poems.

I like this one from 1825.

a long day . . .
my tears of joy
rolling down

I hope you enjoy your weekend!

April 1, 2009

April Fools

So today is April Fools day. And it is snowing. Snowing in April. What a great prank Mother Nature! Thanks - we get it - you can make it spring now.

My all time favorite prank that my brother and I pulled on my mom? We taped the spray gun on our sink and focused it on whoever would be turning on the sink. Sure not very original, but let me tell you. If you heard my mothers screams? You would have laughed your ass off too!

March 30, 2009

Big Picture. . . again.

I know, you probably thought I'd abandoned it, but I'm going to start posting again over at The Big Picture, so check it out this week periodically and let me know what you think.

Update: I love the power to schedule! Now you really should check it out frequently this week - because I have just written a post a day for ALL WEEK! Now isn't that exciting and aren't you intrigued? All should post at 8 am central time (yes mom that is only one hour after your time)!

March 26, 2009

Oh my goodness! Oh my goodness! Oh my goodness!

more later. in. rush. now.

March 22, 2009

Presser Foot is a fun set of words


And it turns out a fun tool as well! In one of my moves in the past four years it turns out that my very simple, but very important presser foot disappeared, so after a scavenger hunt through Minneapolis I found a new one!

This post marks the end of my spring break. The boy came up for the week, and took the above picture when I was 'fluttering about' with my new presser foot.

I did quite a bit of sewing this week, both hand sewing and some with my machine. Crazy story though- I don't have pictures of everything because I was making some stuff for a baby shower which was today - and I kind of finished it right before I had to leave.

I do have pics of two projects though! The first was all hand sewing - and it just goes to show that I need a new pattern for an elephant. For some reason, I have a strong desire to find a good elephant pattern- who doesn't like a stuffed elephant, really? I'd appreciate any word if you or someone you know has a good elephant pattern. Just saying.


umm. yeah - it gets better - but not by a whole lot.



The presser foot came into play later in the week- yes to all of you who said the cats would go faster with a machine - you were right - but again - baby shower - so no pics.

BUT I do have pictures of three blocks that have now been pieced!!! So exciting! Only 45 more to go!


And then the three all side by side.


So now back to thesis work for a while. (Well at least this evening and tomorrow morning before my mom gets here!!!)

HOORAY for visitors!!!!!

March 18, 2009

An increasing interest in Alphabets

I would like to figure out how to create my own font. I know - rather crazy and a little type A even, but I would like to experiment with it at some point. This being my ever increasing love affair with Adobe Illustrator.

image citation

So today on Inhabitots I found a very cool site with alphabets called Bembo's Zoo. I highly encourage you to go play with it - it is very cool.