Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Dear 29,
Something has come over me. I have started taking the long way. Gone is my need for speed (this is a lie. a blatant lie. I can't stop thinking about motorcycles.) I'm an adventurer now, or an adventure-ish person. Or maybe I'm just a little less uptight.
I've been 29 for 38 days. I'm sure you know this because you've kept count as well using a paper chain or something, but in case you lost track, it's been 38 days (by the time I publish this it might be 39*.) After a swanky rager (with a serious view of the city shown above), and a rainy Des Moines Arts Festival, I packed up a blanket and lakeside wedding attire and headed North.
Having never been to either Dakota, I drove a little bit, or nearly two hours, outta the way to check them out. The Honda sure makes for a less stressful ride (RIP Focus). A few things that you'll find interesting about my five-states-one-day trip:
- Ellen DeGeneres reads her book Seriously, I'm Kidding for the audiobook version. And it's only about three hours long. So that got me to South Dakota and I laughed outloud (lol-ed) at least seven times.
- Dell Rapids, SD hosts Quarry Days the last weekend in June. There are free train rides. But if you are 29 and there alone, it will seem weird for you to wait in line with the parents and small children, so you probably should get out of line and get a root beer float instead. Dell Rapids' website says it's "Where South Dakota Rocks"which is awesome.
- South Dakota is about 210 miles tall. I drove at least 186 of those miles.
- North Dakota looks a lot like South Dakota. And most of it is closed on Sunday.
- In Minnesota you can't buy booze on Sundays.
It was interesting, despite what little you learned from this list.
This lakeside wedding was just perfect (Katie and Matt: I'm so happy for you). I did take the short route home with only 7.5 hours and two states covered. Nearly 1200 miles of untraveled (or at least untraveled by me) land has now been traveled. (This sentence wasn't very good.)
And when I got home (or yesterday) I found that I'd been given a $168 souvenir. Thank you, Souix City for keeping our Iowa roads safe with traffic cameras.
*38 days have passed. Actually 47 days have passed. I need to finish posts when I start them instead of letting them sit in the unpublished pile. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

New Job Monday.

Dear 29,
It's New Job Monday.
I haven't had a New Job Monday since 2005. (July 25, 2005 to be exact)
I wore that polo a lot. 
I looked at jobs in Des Moines for a boy (there, I said it) and found Drake. The boy left, I stayed. I'd say it worked out pretty well for both of us.
This is me on my last new job Monday. Hot, I know.
It was raining the day this picture was taken, at least that is why I think my hair looks so frizzy (although I can't explain the haircut.) I think this day I also went into Old Main, slipped on the wet floor and fell, face first, down two stairs. I made such a racket that women came rushing out of their offices to see what was going on and they found me, in a puddle, crying but trying to cover it up by laughing, and hoping I didn't rip a hole in the one pair of dress pants I owned. (They were likely hand me down dress pants from my mother.)
Here's me in my first office. I liked layering shirts. And am apparently on Facebook midday. And receiving a singing valentine at the moment this photo is being taken. Wonder where that watch is...
I had over 228 students work for me. That's a lot of influence. Most of those kids are now at least 24, which makes me feel really old. I embarrassed myself in front of those kids so many times. And saw about 57% of them cry. (Not because of my managerial skills, but probably because of a bad grade on a test, a girlfriend or a roommate.) I spent more time in the Knapp Center than taking any actual naps. And I loved it.
I never again worked at Street Painting. And paint soaks through clothes, FYI.
The first time I ever drove in a city bigger than Des Moines was the first time I took a Drake trip as a Major Gift Officer. Not only did I drive through a hail storm on the way to Kansas City (for you strangers reading this-- all two of you-- I'm terrified of storms, so you can imagine this was fun), I flew into LAX for the first time (wearing a grey suit and pink flats, an outfit I haven't worn since that day), had to rent a car and drive to Beverly Hills. I ate for the first and last time ever at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel where my lunch guest ordered a $32 cheeseburger. Mary, who couldn't be lovelier, and I watched Boston Celtics flit in and out of the hotel as she shared stories about why she got her pilot's license. Three years later Mary would tell me I look more Californian every time she sees me. It's probably because I gave up on wearing suits, sweater vests and the adolescent boy hair cut.
I got to see so many CA sunsets. Mostly by myself. Once I had a stranger take my photo in front of one.
That only happened once. For many reasons. 
I went to California at least 9 more times. I can get from John Wayne Airport to Pelican Hill Resort without the use of my GPS and have fallen in love with Palm Springs every time I've made that drive on the 10 going east. I worked with some terrific people in the office, I met amazing people on the road who helped me understand philanthropy in a way I feel lucky to have witnessed and I survived 7 Relays weekends.
It's like the end of an era (so. dramatic.)
Today, on New Job Monday, I'll cross off #15. Today, on New Job Monday, I'll feel so grateful for my Bulldog family- I've never known Des Moines without you.
Today I start something new.