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:


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.


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


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.

The Latest Episode in Our Attempt to Acquire a Dog

See where we're coming from? Look at this thing.

As I wrote a few weeks ago, my girlfriend and I desperately want a dog. I assume that’s typical of a couple 20-somethings whose idea of a wild Saturday night is making to the Weekend Update segment on SNL.

In our last episode, we were looking at a German wirehaired pointer, but that breed simply grows to be too big. We’d done a pretty good job purposely forgetting about getting a dog until we were at lunch with my grandma the other day. She encouraged us to do so, because if nothing else, the dog we were considering adopting may be put down. Our hearts sank. We recommitted to getting a dog. (We also found out the Blue Earth Nicollet County Humane Society has a no kill policy.)

As we resume our search for the perfect dog, we face the following dilemmas:

  1. Cost. Always a concern and everyone we know has warned us of the hidden costs of pet ownership.
  2. Permission. We haven’t been given the green light by our landlord, but the bigger concern is our …
  3. Wood floors. We live in the bottom floor of a duplex. Our neighbors above us have a pomeranian-papillon mix that weighs no more than 15 pounds, but they also have carpet, so scratching isn’t a concern.
  4. Furniture. A friend let us use her furniture when we moved in and she’s asked for it back should we get a puppy. Understandable. No one wants puppy urine dried up on their furniture, especially when it’s someone else’s puppy. So, new furniture — nothing Craigslist can’t fix.

Kix was born Aug. 29 at Cowpound Kennel in Peever, SD.

Our breed du jour is the labradoodle. A coworker has recommended a breeder in Peever, SD, which is about an hour from where my girlfriend grew up. My coworker implored me to say I’m from South Dakota and not the Twin Cities to get a better rate, which makes me feel more like I’m buying contraband or black-market weapons, not a harmless puppy.

The upside: Labradoodles can be hypoallergenic, which is critical for my girlfriend. And just look at that puppy. Makes me want to wear a wool sweater with a labradoodle stitched on it. Is that so wrong?

Of course, getting a labradoodle entitles you to join the Cult of Labradoodle Owners. I’ve done some unofficial polling to determine labradoodle owners are more obsessed with their dogs than any other breed’s owners. It’s awesome and terrifying, but most importantly, great blog material. Is it sad I’ve ignored all the hang-ups of dog ownership for the fact it might just be good topic matter? I could be a crazy dog blog guy. That’s a good look.

We’re shifting things around and trying like hell to make this happen, and soon.

Stay tuned.