Saturday, June 13, 2009

Bike gang.

I've been a bad blogger - sorry for the lacks of updates.

Let me see..
We're still looking for jobs. The search is going pretty well, there will be results soon I am sure of it.
Meanwhile, I went thru a four day interview process to be part of an organization called Project Legos.  The experience was awesome, I  met some really great people and in the end I have become a project facilitator.  I am going to be working with mostly at risk youth, some not, leading workshops where I facilitate discussions and activities in order to create agents of change when it comes to social issues, especially diversity. I'm excited about it.
check out the website ""

Other than job searching, we've pretty much just been hanging out - riding our bikes a lot, reading, and learning more about the city. 

Since Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes, on the southern part of the city located in the middle of town is a place called Lake Calhoon.  Its a beautiful area that makes you feel like your on vacation when you're down there.  There is sail boats, a bike path around it and even sand beaches.  A few of us went down there last week for the afternoon, we played frisbee and read on the beach, it was a really good day.
From left to right is Patrick, Kramer, me and Timma.

Something else we did I like to call Tour de Minneapolis.  Patrick just got back from spending a year in Argentina, and on his last night there his friends gave him an Argentine soccer jersey.  Because of the devotion to their team, this gift means a lot to not only the people of the country, but also to Patrick.  He had the idea of going around the city with the jersey on and taking pictures of himself by all of the landmarks that are special to Minneapolis... a flat stanley project of sorts.  So Timma, Kramer and myself went along with him... 
Here's what came out of it.

Here is me on the stone arch bridge that goes over the Mississippi River - I can't get it right side up, sorry.

This is the IDS building downtown, the tallest structure in the city- check out the shadowing on it.

Here's me and the Mary Tyler Moore statue located in Niccolett Mall, an area of town where only buses and taxis are allowed down.  The show took place in the city.

Here is Kramer and I with the cherry/spoon statue in Loring Park.  Its a giant fountain, probably to keep people from climbing to the top of it- but it is located in the largest statue garden in the US.

Check out the view of the skyline from the Franklin Ave bridge... I've been told its the best you can get from any place in the city.

Our final stop was along the Greenway bike path that runs all around the city... This is the view of the Hennepin bridge.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Oh ba de, Oh ba dah - life is going on.

So. The job search = continuing.
I've applied at a few restaurants, a banquet catering service place, home depot, caribou coffee, and a catering company that specializes in pig roasts.  Some are promising... I'm low-key banking on this pig roast gig, we'll see what happens.
All in all though, this being unemployed thing is kind of nice... Not that I'm trying to stay jobless or anything, but I can't really remember the last time that I haven't had something I had to do - whether it be go to work, go to class, do homework, etc.   I haven't not had a job (with the exception of first semester my freshman year) since I was 16 and although I definitely/hopefully won't be jobless long enough to get used to it, maybe I could?

Here's a recap of what we've done since we were given the big F-fired.
Last Wednesday, the majority of my roommates and I went to the Twins game.  We played the Boston Red Sox & WE WON!  It was student night so tickets were only $7, and hotdogs were only a buck a piece: limit two.
This is Megan, she's from Wisconsin and a random for the summer as well.

These are a few more of our roommates and us by the field. The Twins play in the Metrodome, so its baseball inside... crazy.
Sorry it is sideways, but this is Jack- He swares up and down the Twins will win the World Series this year:  "Twins 09' - you heard it here first".

On Friday, Kramer and I did the critical mass in Minneapolis.  About two hundred people were there, along with many, many police officers on their bikes.  The critical mass has a history of violence all over the country, but in 07, the c.m. in the cities became a little out of hand as the cyclist began to beat the cars with their u-locks and the cops began to beat the cyclists.  So the message has changed a bit and instead of yelling "f**k cars" we all now yell "Happy Friday!" to everyone in passing.
We rode for two and a half hours straight all over the city and probably around 25-30  miles.  As we pulled back into Loring park, where we started, only a fraction of the group that started ended together, everybody else had pulled out along the way.  We were dead tired when we got home, but felt very accomplished.  Only three girls finished, and I was one of them... it was cool.

On Saturday Kramer and I decided to go on a little day adventure, and we got in the car to drive to Minnehaha Falls.  The park is located right outside of the city and has miles of bike paths, a restaurant and the best part, the water fall.  
Here is Kramer by the falls.
Here is the falls themselves, it was beautiful.  
Then we rented this bike/car thing for an hour to ride around on the bike paths.

I would say that we look very cute in it, buuut - it was much more difficult to ride than we would've thought.

So as you can see, we're having a good time.  Minneapolis is a great city, now if only we could find some income. 
P.S. - the hot sauce at taco bell was back to being orange... it is crazy.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Now what?

So yesterday at work, Sam (our boss) gave Kramer and I the news that we would be transfered to the door-to-door canvassing office because of our lack of money raising skills.  Like I said before the quota per day is $125 and Monday and Tuesday I only raised $95 each day.  
So the kids from the door office are really cool and we thought that it wouldn't be too bad... but this morning I got a phone call from Sam telling me that she was "letting us go" completely.  
So of course I got upset, freaked out for a minute and panicked. 
BUT... maybe this is all just part of our adventure.  
We were fired not because of our personal deficiencies, but our lack of ability to raise obscene amounts of money from people on the street.  
Oh well I guess, as much as I care about the issues and the environment- that doesn't make me a great street peddler.
Minneapolis phase two: Job search. 

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Do you have a minute for the environment... dammit.

So the last week Kramer and I both didn't "make quota" at work.  It turns out that each week you must make $625 to keep your job... we both raised clear over $500 - so we both got warnings... Carl says I'm way too happy when I ask people if they have a second to talk to me.  Our pickup lines consist of Do you have a moment for clean energy?  Do you have a minute for the environment.. etc.  He told me I would get more stops if I acted more serious so people don't think I'm just some happy cute girl but rather sense the urgency in my voice instead.
So yesterday at field manager training, I had to practice asking those questions as if there were a period at the end and not a question mark.  He had me say the phrase:  
My shoes are dirty... 
                Do you have a minute for the environment.
Next week: Its on!

This evening we're going to a Memorial Day cookout at somebody's house from the door-to-door office. We made pasta salad.  Supposedly there will be bacci ball and a game of kickball: we can't wait.
Were starting to make friends with our roommates more which is cool: Yesterday we rode bikes with this dude named Timma down to the Mississippi river to play frisbee and my feet kept getting bitten by these really spikey weeds that were all over the field. . . But this town is sweet because we never have to drive a car.  Everything is either close enough to ride our bikes, walk or take a bus.  Lexington - you've got some work to do.
As for the photo of the day, the sauces at taco bell are not the same color as at home...

Can you tell which one is wrong?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Working hard for our money...

Work is two things: rewarding and brutal.
The first three days it turns out are a test run for everybody -> if you aren't able to raise over $125 and also commit two monthly givers, then you lose your job.  Thankfully, Kramer and I both "made staff" and despite the pressure had a good time doing it.Al Three people didn't come back today... its almost like a game of survivor.   Knowing that you've done something really great while you were at work for the day is a really rewarding and powerful thing.  Although I've gotten a little bit sunburnt and my farmer's tan is coming in strong, work is going well.  Kramer and I are both being trained as field managers this week, so we'll be leading our own crews of canvassers. 
Today though I didn't raise barely any money, the same for a lot of people, and that was very discouraging... but tomorrow can only get better.

Here's a picture of our house, like I said: ITS HUGE.  I live on the second floor in a nice room that is painted brown.  Kramer lives on the third and everybody that lives on the second and third floors shares a kitchen.  The boys in the basement have their own kitchen on the 1st floor that everybody fights over the use of fridge space for... apparently those boys don't use it at all- when we got here there was a gallon of milk in the downstairs fridge that expired in January... I think everyone might be right.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Our Arrival

So on Friday May 16th, my friend Kramer and I set out for Minneapolis, Minnesota to work as environmental canvassers for the summer and to find an adventure.
After thirteen long hours in the car, we finally made it here - and needless to say its a pretty cool place.  We're living in a ten-person house that is giant and very dark... our roommates think it was built before electricity was invented because all of the light switches are on the ceiling and no one can really reach them.   Everybody in the house is really cool -they've even taken us out to parties with them a few times thus far-  and it ended up that where we work is only a few blocks away.
The organization we're working for is called Fund for the Public Interest.  Its a grassroots organization that was started twenty years ago in order to provide the most progressive organizations in America a helping hand in building up name-recognition, to raising money for campaigns, and also to provide more support in general for the movements being addressed. 
We'll be working with Environment Minnesota, the US Progressive Future and also the Human Rights Campaign... let the adventure begin.