Kanye, Cam, Snow, Trader Joe’s, and a Doodle Update

I'm so short on time this morning, I'm going with this completely arbitrary image I found Googling "minneapolis snow."

It’s 8:10 a.m., my girlfriend’s parents are staying at our place right now and I’ve got to leave for work in a half hour. I’ll be honest — I’ve got nothing. I’m surprised this doesn’t happen more rarely with me trying to write 500-word posts five days per week.

So, pardon the scattered nature of this post, but here’s what’s on my mind:

I caved and downloaded the leak of Kanye West’s new album My Dark Beautiful Twisted Fantasy. It’s a clean version, which matters. You wouldn’t just cut 10 percent of Maya Angelou’s poetry and expect it to read the same. Nonetheless, all of the perfect reviews are dead-on. Rob Sheffield of Rolling Stone gave the album five stars (out of five): “[West] goes for the grandeur of stadium rock, the all-devouring sonics of hip-hop, the erotic gloss of disco, and he goes for all of it, all the time. Nobody halfway sane could have made this album.”

***

The Twin Cities area is expected to get 5-8 inches of snow on Saturday. Most of it will melt by Monday, but it’s safe to say winter is here. That’s a pretty significant snowfall, too, especially when you spent last winter living somewhere where three inches does this:

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With allegations of Auburn quarterback Cam Newton demanding money to sign with a school and Kentucky freshman Enes Kanter being ruled ineligible for receiving improper benefits while playing pro basketball overseas, the NCAA finds itself at a crossroads. I would love to say cut all college athletics, but that’s unfair to the 99 percent of athletes who follow the rules, as well as though who wouldn’t be able to afford school without their scholarship. The biggest problem is cash-strapped state schools are relying way to heavily on their athletic programs to generate extra revenue. That’s exploitation. It’s time we consider giving athletes stipends.

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Earlier this year, I wrote about giving in and finally shopping at Trader Joe’s. What I wouldn’t give to live within two blocks of one, as we did in Portland. Trader Joe’s has become our primary grocery store, especially now that my girlfriend has gone gluten-free and dairy-free. (To combat her allergies, not because she’s becoming a hipster.)

For those of you who’ve never shopped at Trader Joe’s, below is a list of items you must try. And let me just murder the myth — Trader Joe’s is NOT expensive. All of the items below are $2-$5, and I swear, if this is what my diet was solely comprised of, I’d be a happy man:

Chipotle Salsa — $1.99

Mandarin Orange Chicken - $4.99

Edamame - $1.99

Go Raw Trek Mix - $4.69

Charles Shaw wine - $2.99

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A quick labradoodle update: Our landlord gave us permission to get one. All we need is a $200 non-refundable deposit. We’re still looking for puppy-friendly furniture on Craigslist. Finally, we spoke with a breeder in South Dakota. A doodle will cost between $600-$800, depending on size, gender and color. That’s a setback. We’re certainly open to adopting one, but they’re nearly impossible to find in the Twin Cities-area. So, for now, we’ve established a Labradoodle Fund. We’re throwing spare change and cash into a coffee can until we can afford everything. If you’re interested in donating or know of an adoption center, e-mail me at atmiller14@gmail.com.

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