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The Flood

I knew something was wrong because of the smell.

It hit me when I unlocked my apartment door one evening.

The smell was not “dog shat the rug” foul, nor was it “old food in the garbage” foul… it was … just foul.

Sewage foul.

And this what I found in the bathroom:

Sewage backup in my bathroom.
My sink exploded while I was at work. Water and pools of sludge were everywhere.

I think the proper term is “backed up.” Continue reading “The Flood” »

2014 Winter Lowertown Minneapolis-St. Paul pictures Take Three Thomson Reuters

Saint Paul in Fog

Saint Paul in Fog

A recent warm-up brought some pretty dramatic fog to downtown St. Paul.

Saint Paul in Fog

Fog flowing over the Mississippi River, by the High Bridge.

Saint Paul in Fog

A view of St. Paul in fog, with a shot of the Cathedral.

Saint Paul in Fog

Downtown St. Paul, Minnesota in fog.

The temperatures still climb above 20 degrees at least once a week. Anything above 15 degrees means that it is warm enough for a long walk with Hugo. I’m cherishing these walks while we can still make them.

Things don’t look good for this winter.

Last winter was the 9th coldest on record for the state, and we missed the global warming train:

2014 Global Temperatures

And yet I live here on purpose…

The cold is less relevant this year.

I discovered that there is an express bus that takes me directly from downtown St. Paul to Thomson Reuters campus in the suburbs.

The cold is less bothersome now that I no longer have to sit in a frozen car twice a day. There is something strange about spending 95% of my time indoors. I hear that this is only surpassed by hoarders and the people who work in the Minneapolis skyway.


2014 Winter Dallas Instagram Minneapolis-St. Paul pictures Thomson Reuters

Waking up in Dallas

Downtown Dallas

A massive snow storm pelted the metro area, which made me extremely grateful for the timing of my work trip to Texas.
I have never given Dallas much thought, so I was surprised by how massive and beautiful the city is.

We spent most of our time in Downtown Dallas and Uptown Dallas, which is where my client’s office is located.

Client meetings. The chandeliers!

A photo posted by Dennis (@lowertownjnsn) on

My cab driver called Uptown Dallas the home of “$30,000 millionaires” – implying that it is full of young people who live beyond their means.

Ironically, this description would work quite well for Minneapolis’ Uptown neighborhood as well. I also visited Oak Lawn, the metroplex’s gayborhood. I managed to find busy bars and a drag show despite it being a Tuesday.

  A photo posted by Dennis (@lowertownjnsn) on


Traveling for work is a strange experience.

There’s the excitement of a new city and actually working with my clients in person. There’s also the crush of emails and awkwardness of managing conference calls via cellphone.

The rest of the work week flew by, which is typical for me. I’ve been in my new job for about four months now, and (I think) I’ve gained a baseline level of competence.

Each promotion I receive seems to involve less formal training and more “figuring shit out,” which I think law school prepared me well for.

My prior positions involved a lot of remote working, whereas now I’m in the office from 6 or 7 a.m. to around 4 or 5 p.m. The volume and variety of work means that I’m never bored, and even a 10 or 11 hour day feels way too short.
The speed of which my weeks go by presents interesting challenges however – it’s easy to fly through an entire week without working out or going to the grocery store.
My challenge this week is figuring out what processes and routines I need to put in place so I don’t become thoroughly decrepit in 4 more months.

Perhaps keeping my waistline in check is as important as maintaining my inbox.

2014 Summer Architecture Life Lowertown Minneapolis-St. Paul pictures

A year in St. Paul

Downotwn St. Paul

I’ve lived in downtown St. Paul for over a year now.

Things in my second year look dramatically different – I have a boyfriend, a new dog, and a promotion at work – the Lowertown life is great.

I also discovered that there is an express bus that is actually quicker than driving to the office, so I rarely use my gas guzzler anymore.

I couldn’t have fathomed bus commuting to work even one year ago.

The faux-car-less life is amazing.

It is going to be even better during winter because 1) driving in the suburbs with snow is terrifying, and 2) the office campus is so huge that the walk to the front of the building can take 15 minutes, which is brutal in -20 degrees.

Plus, the bus pass is only $85 for 31 days. (Way cheaper than gas.)

I’m also able to buy new passes at the office, which is insanely convenient. I’m smitten.

The Scenery

Transportation aside, I love living on Mears Park, the Farmers’ Market, the restaurant options, the Cathedral, and all of the gorgeous architecture:

Downtown St. Paul

A shot of downtown St. Paul overlooking the ghetto Walgreens and Bruegger’s Bagels. It’s a beautiful area but usually crawling with creeps.

Union Depot LTR Station

The Green Line station in front of the Union Depot in downtown St. Paul. It is in front of the Bedlam Theater and the CoCo Coworking Space.

Fitzgerald Theater

The Fitzgerald Theater in downtown St. Paul. It’s run by Minnesota Public Radio and hosts shows like A Prairie Home Companion.

Winter is also more bearable in St. Paul.

Thankfully, I’m far more active in St. Paul during the winter than I used to live in Minneapolis, even without having to rely on a car.

Last time I was in Miami, it was February and miserably cold in Minnesota. I realized that I spent minimal time outside because being outside felt extremely weird.

Mears Park

The Galtier Towers and Mears Park in downtown St. Paul during winter.

Mears Park

The Saint Paul skyway system seems more comprehensive than the one across the river.

It’s also open until 2 a.m., which is highly convenient for wintertime bar hopping if you don’t piss off the cops.

We are in downtown St. Paul for at least another year, and then may try something else. But for now it’s a great life choice.

dogs pictures the details

The Reluctant Walker

Gunter the Chiweenie

I have to coax Gunter out of bed in the mornings.

It’s exhausting. He wouldn’t be so reluctant to go outside if I still put him in a kennel – then shitting in the closet wouldn’t be an option.

Gunter's Tired

Gunter is a Chihuahua Dachshund mix that is extremely lazy.

Gunter the Chiweenie

Gunter is a Chihuahua Dachshund mix that is extremely lazy.

Gunter the Chiweenie

Gunter is a Chihuahua Dachshund mix that is extremely lazy.

Gunter the Chiweenie

Gunter is a Chihuahua Dachshund mix that is extremely lazy.