Monday, January 30, 2012

Marvelous Monday, 2012, Vol. 5

It's 40 degrees today and that is marvelous!  But this Marvelous Monday is entirely a weekend recap.  Argh!  Mark my words: next Monday's entry will be completely about Monday.

1) READER!  I learned what an autonomous snowplow competition is! Yesterday morning I went for an impromptu run with my brother.  We were near downtown and I asked if he wanted to swing over there to look at the ice sculptures, and I lamented missing the autonomous snowplows the day before.  Lo and behold, the competition was still in full swing!

It's SO COOL.  Contrary to what I imagined, the snowplows are not full-size monsters cruising around sans driver.  They're little miniature snowplow robots, about the size of a large coffee table, and they're designed by teams of college students from all over the country.  Then the little snowplows navigate a course that includes a 180-degree turn, completely controlled by a computer program.  Again: SO COOL!

2) Sunday Night Movie Night at my home is officially a streak!  Last night, it was "Moneyball."  I am no movie critic so I can't contribute scintillating new insights, but I thought both Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill were fantastic.  And so was the girl who played Brad Pitt's daughter.  We really liked it.

3) Treats. I finally got to try Koppelin's legendary hot chocolate yesterday at the coffee shop's new location at Marshall and Cleveland, and it lived up to its reputation.  That block might be the best in St. Paul in terms of treats: Koppelin's, next to Izzy's ice cream, next to Sweets Bakeshop.  Sara and I skipped the ice cream but did investigate the macarons and cupcakes at Sweets.  I tried mint-basil and lemon macarons, and the lemon in particular was soooo good.

4) I went to a swap party this weekend hosted by a friend from high school.  The idea is that you bring gently used clothes, household items, books and DVDs - plus unopened toiletries - and assemble them garage sale-style.  Each person gets a little poker chip for each item she brought, then you get to go through and pick out your new prizes, and items left over at the end all get donated. Among other items, I brought home a cookbook, a shirt (that I'm wearing today!), and an awesome shoe rack for the entryway.  Kudos to Kristen for organizing it!

5) I cooked beans from...scratch? for the first time yesterday.  This process definitely cuts the cost and sodium compared to canned beans, so it seems like it's a good project for a Sunday evening hanging out at home.  I am crossing my fingers that the kidney beans turned out okay and will try them tonight or tomorrow night in Moosewood chili.

Reader, tell me: What's marvelous about your Monday?  What was marvelous about your weekend?

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