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Ruined By Whimsy

Still in a post-vacation haze, despite returning home nearly one week ago. I have much to say about our wonderful trip but many many photos to edit yet. So far I’ve only finished day one.

For now, five good things for a Friday:

Cinco de Mayhem was one of our favorite events of 2013. My son had SO much fun. And so did CO Exhibitions.

In May 2013, we invited over two dozen local artists to design and build their very own piñatas to be displayed and destroyed right here in our CO Exhibitions gallery. We saw everything from Viking ships to wild birds to DeLoreans to baby seals to Game of Thrones characters to oversized potatoes. Art lovers bought “Smash Tickets” for the rights to step up and swing at the piñatas and we ended up raising several hundred dollars for local food bank Second Harvest Heartland. It was one of the most fun and creative nights we’ve ever seen go down at CO … and we wanna do it all over again!

This year my son and I are making our own piñatas. Getting cracking on that this weekend. But soon we really need to get in gear with packing the house up. And purging our household of un-needed items. The fun never ends.

At Ground Kontrol in Portland

Girls Like Us

Not loving this last minute stress. We found out our current landlord will be showing our apartment while we’re on vacation. Out of the state. Opted to skip Friday night fun in favor of cleaning. But I’m more worried about the cats getting out than anything. Wheeeee! Thankfully we have lovely friends who live nearby and agreed to cat-sit. And our downstairs neighbor is home a lot. So bring on the Spring Break. And some calming deep breaths.

Five random items of note:

Attempting to remain calm. And focus on living in the moment, especially on this vacation. But there are other awesome things to look forward to as well after the ordeal of moving in May. Like the Julie Ruin tour! I don’t even have to go to another town this time to see my beloved Kathleen Hanna in action. Naturally I’ve ordered tickets already.

Me, as Rosie the Riveter

Come As You Are

Someone pointed out we’ll be in Seattle on the 20th anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s death. Whoops. This was not intentional. And freaking CNN. Man. So insensitive. “CNN Wrote The Worst Kurt Cobain Lede Ever. We Tried To Top It.” Don’t even. But this is equal parts amusing and cringe-worthy: Today’s teens reacting to Nirvana. Oof.

I am a sucker. Not even sure where I saw this but I was barely awake Saturday morning and buying new kicks for my kid. But I left the choice between dogs and cats to him. It was a tough call but he went with canines. “Vans supports the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and its mission to rescue animals from abuse, pass humane laws, and share resources with shelters. Taking a stand against animal cruelty since 1866, the ASPCA® speaks for those who can’t speak for themselves.”

Ian, pouring

The Iron in Our Blood

For a couple of days I was down for the count. Back to normal now, more or less, and the week has come to an end. Nothing particularly noteworthy about it. Other than we’ve got one more to go before Spring break. We’re going to sit down together this weekend to figure out what needs to go on our Seattle and Portland lists. And which items are absolute MUSTS vs. Would-Be-Nice-Tos. Squeezing in time with family and friends goes at the top. Spending an evening with Karl Urban while watching Dredd at the Cinerama would be nice.

Five random good or interesting things for Friday:

  • This piece about The Overprotected Kid hit a chord with me. “A preoccupation with safety has stripped childhood of independence, risk taking, and discovery—without making it safer. A new kind of playground points to a better solution.” I’ll admit to being an overprotective parent and my son’s childhood is vastly different from my own. But he has autism and is far too trusting so it’s been harder to allow him more autonomy. I worry that he will always be vulnerable.
  • Oh how I adore thee, Felicia Day. She totally nails it. “Most lead characters and lead actors of movies are white.” What we see on the big screen (and on smaller ones) doesn’t reflect our nation’s or our planet’s populations. On a related note, “7 Problematic Lessons Disney Movies Teach Boys About Masculinity
  • Why Creativity Necessitates Eclecticism: Nick Cave’s Influences and Inspirations and a bit more in depth about Networked Knowledge and Combinatorial Creativity
  • Getting a lot of attention this week: NASA Study Concludes When Civilization Will End, And It’s Not Looking Good for Us. More here:

    Analyzing five risk factors for societal collapse (population, climate, water, agriculture and energy), the report says that the sudden downfall of complicated societal structures can follow when these factors converge to form two important criteria. Motesharrei’s report says that all societal collapses over the past 5,000 years have involved both “the stretching of resources due to the strain placed on the ecological carrying capacity” and “the economic stratification of society into Elites [rich] and Masses (or “Commoners”) [poor].”

    Clearly humanity needs to get its act together as a whole. Not just pockets of forward thinking folks here and there. But they are out there. Many being supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. And some folks trying to tackle the overpopulation angle, among other things, have come up with the Electric Eel condom. Interesting stuff. Read more about it and/or contribute here.

  • Last Friday I photographed a Dinner on the Farm event at Fika, the lovely restaurant in the gorgeous American Swedish Institute. And next Friday I’ll be seeing more Swedes, at The Hex. The awesome Allvaret - from Gothenburg, Sweden - will be playing with my friends’ bands Hot Rash and Rabbit Holes. Should be super fun.

Hoping to keep this weekend a quiet one as next week is unusually busy. Monday I plan to see the documentary: Jamel Shabazz Street Photographer by Charlie Ahearn at the Trylon. Tuesday there’s another documentary showing, at the Bryant Lake Bowl, about Beijing punk bands and some of those Beijing bands will be playing here later in the week. Always something interesting going on.

Dianne and Emily

This Cosmic Perspective

Recently we watched the wonderful series premiere of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, hosted by astrophysicist/nerd superstar Neil DeGrasse Tyson. Nothing like pondering the infinite vastness of the universe to make one’s own life and problems seem insignificant. Wrapping my head around the Big Bang and the Cosmic Calendar was a nice break. But back to my day to day reality, on the ground. Last week we followed through with one of our big life choices and signed a two year lease. We had narrowed it down to two duplexes we loved for very different reasons. But opted for the side by side one in a quieter, safer neighborhood of Minneapolis. With central air and in-unit washer/dryer. Two bathrooms will be a game changer! And we’ll be within walking distance of some wonderful friends, nature (Minnehaha Creek, Lake Harriet) and Clint’s favorite liquor store. Yep.

We will be moving a couple of weeks before the end of the school year in St. Paul. Which means I’ll be schlepping the kid to and from St. Paul daily. And the district is indeed tacking on at least one make-up school day. Le sigh.

Five ultra-random good things:

  • I’ve often enjoyed the content of some Reddit interviews, but the horrible format keeps me away. Someone out there decided to make them pretty with Interviewly. But it doesn’t pull in all of the interviews out there, just ones with famous folk. And there are some great “Ask Me Anything” interviews with every day folk. Like this vacuum cleaner repair person (thanks to Dez for the heads up on that one).
  • More of this, please. ‘Miss Korea’ ladies in the 1970s looked different, beautiful long before Photoshop existed. I enjoy looking at real people.
  • Oh Kevin Spacey. His response to criticism by the Ford brothers. It is just perfectly charming. Also, I am missing Toronto like crazy.
  • Every year when SXSW rolls around I get a little wistful. I have never attended. I would be equally interested in the interactive, music and film portions and I don’t have that kind of time or money. But I do enjoy seeing what comes out of each. In the film category the movie Frank looks particularly quirky and compelling. But it’s a damned shame that the gorgeous Michael Fassbender, playing the title character, never appears without his crazy mask-head on.
  • As the parent of a vaccinated child who happens to have autism, Jenny McCarthy has been on my radar for a while. She has done so much harm from her anti-science soap box. So it was with some satisfaction that I noticed this last Thursday: Jenny McCarthy’s Self-Made Twitter Hashtag Was Hilariously Hijacked By Pro-Vaccine Critics

I’ve had pretty good luck with Groupon over the years. Only buying them for restaurants I’ve already been to or that trusted friends have recommended. But I bought one out of the blue. And wound up with bad sushi. That was Saturday night. Today I’m still paying the price with a bad gut. Thankfully my boyfriend has an iron stomach and it didn’t get him. But me? I am prone to food poisoning at the drop of a hat. That’s why I am hesitant about this “five second rule” research. If it’s true, that’s cool. But hopefully restaurant workers won’t be picking my food off the floor during prep any more than they already are doing. *shudder* On this St. Patrick’s Day I was going to try out a healthy shamrock shake recipe but I don’t know if I’m feeling up to it. At least I can curl up with my kid later to re-watch The Secret of Kells. Such a good movie. I didn’t want to go anywhere today or tonight anyhow, what with this festive freezing rain/sleet/snow combo. Especially with drunk drivers added to that wintry mix. People, if you are out tonight please take advantage of the free metro transit rides or spring for a cab or Uber car. Be safe.

Rabbit Holes

An Imperfect Process

Maybe it’s because I’m a Minnesotan, but it seems like BIG LIFE CHANGES always happen in the early Spring. Or at least need to be decided upon. So BIG LIFE CHOICES. As a single parent most of these have been up to me. And I am a-ok with that. I react quickly and decisively and prefer to get things sorted out as quickly as possible. Unfortunately it’s not always up to me. I’m on pins and needles waiting to find out if my son gets into the school I’ve selected for grades 9 - 12, in a different school distrcit. In the neighborhood we are moving to, to be close to said school. Speaking of…I had my heart set on a lovely duplex to move into. But my boyfriend convinced me to look at just one more. I grudgingly did so. And was pleasantly surprised. The neighborhood is much quieter, yet with a nearby commercial node. And the duplex itself looks like a concrete bunker from the outside. But inside it is incredibly well maintained, comfortable, with a gorgeous kitchen, two very nice bathrooms and an in unit washer & dryer. And it has central air. SOLD. The only thing it lacks is decent storage. I’m going to have to purge even more before the move. I need it to warm up, for real, so we can have a yard sale.

Five good things:

Tomorrow is 3/14 - Pi Day! I bailed on some social activities this evening to bake three pies instead. Two acorn squash and one labneh cheesecake with pistachio crust. Tomorrow will be more than just Pi Day though. First thing in the morning we’re slated to do a walk through at the duplex before forking over a damage deposit and signing a two year lease. Hopefully we’re choosing the right path on our little adventure.


False Math and Unrecognized Genius

What a weekend. Highs and lows. Started out by looking at an imperfect three bedroom duplex in the perfect neighborhood. Then found out an old friend mysteriously died at home at the age of 40. Had a quiet night in. Saturday we indulged in too much escapism by seeing both the new Mr. Peabody & Sherman movie *and* Miyazaki’s new The Wind Rises. Saturday night we made it to a co-worker’s birthday/tapas party, with bonus Tesla coil. And then on to see our friends’ band play. But I bailed on the rest of the line-up. Sorry bands. Sunday was the dreaded Springing forward. But we got out of bed early-ish and made it to the gym, as a household - some of us crabbier than others. And then I stumbled upon a CL ad that was almost too good to be true for a 3BR / 2BA duplex in a neighborhood I want to live in. And the boyfriend called and we actually got to see it that day. And it was almost perfect and I really want to live in it, for years to come. I do hope that all works out.

Five interesting things:

Still blissed out after getting to see Cibo Matto last week. I don’t think I’m going to any shows this week (no, I am not seeing Miley Cyrus tonight). I do have a parent/teacher conference though. Wheeee! Oh, and my pal Heidi is celebrating the 10th anniversary of her catering business, Chowgirls, with a gathering. Definitely want to swing by that biz. Oh, and I randomly got a shout-out from someone who works at MASS MoCA for my Body/Head photos at MIA. That was neat.

Cibo Matto

The Melancholy Party Theory

My Monday and Tuesday were TOO MUCH. And ALL AT ONCE sort of days. Usually when March rolls around we Minnesotans begin feeling more hopeful. Sadly we’ve still experiencing sub-zero temperatures. Monday was a mercury milestone: Twin Cities records 50th subzero day this season. Heaped atop the weather woes I have a laundry list of BIG LIFE STUFF. If each item were incoming individually it would feel more manageable. But the combo punches are crushing me. Deep breath. Today is a new day. The sun is shining. The temps are warming up. I saw the still-fabulous Cibo Matto and Buffalo Daughter last night at the Turf Club. Kim Gordon re-tweeted me (my pics from last week’s Body/Head show). And we are just over three weeks from our Spring Break trip out of town. Working for vacation. Oh yes.

Five good things:

Today is Ash Wednesday. Yes, an attempt was made to raise me Catholic as a young’n. It didn’t take. That’s not the reason I know what day it is. It’s because of the Horror for the Holidays movie series and their special screening of Army of Darkness at the Mall of America. Starring the man with the chin that could kill, Bruce Campbell, as Ash. So dreamy.

Rajjar Septet

The Universe is Rich in Mystery

It’s official. We are all miserable.

So far as of February 26, 2014 the Winter Misery Index for the winter of 2013-14 in Twin Cities is 177 points, or in the “severe winter” category. Of course there is quite a bit of winter left. The lowest WMI score was the winter of 2011-2012 with 16 points. The most severe winter is 1916-1917 with 305 WMI points. How many WMI points will this winter score?

But still, life goes on. Sometimes in more obvious ways than others. Last week my son’s aunt gave birth to her first child. And today my boyfriend’s sister gave birth to her second child.

Five other good things:

This week has been a busy one. Despite the life-sapping soul-sucking cold I made it out to a show at The Cedar Monday night. Tuesday night we celebrated a good friend’s birthday with pizza, beer and ice cream. Last night the boyfriend and I celebrated our two year anniversary at Scusi (which was unusually packed for a Wednesday night due to Restaurant Week). Tonight I get to see Kim Gordon’s new project, Body/Head, at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Tomorrow night I really hope to just stay in and do a whole lot of nothing. My book pile has grown. But Hayao Miyazaki’s “The Wind Rises” opens at the Lagoon this weekend, so we’ll have to make time to see that.

Grow Fangs tape release / Art Show

Bass Reverberates Most Materials

On Valentine’s Day I fully intended to post a round up of semi-romantic items but was too busy. First off, Thursday morning a strange howling sound awakened St. Paul. I was awake but somehow I didn’t hear it! Bummer. Friday I had a busy day of working from home, running errands, and getting my art hung for the evening’s show - all before the boyfriend came home from work. I attempted to wear my sparkly dress with the sequins but remembered how much the sequins chafe. I’ve got to figure out a way to mitigate that. Thankfully I found a back-up dress before it was time for dinner at The Craftsman. Two Cava cocktails with dinner and I could have easily gone straight to bed after. But I rallied and headed to the house show where my photos were hanging, along with some other pretty awesome art. But Saturday I was wrecked. I have rarely been hungover. I blame it on not drinking enough water before bed. None of my Saturday plans came to pass, aside from seeing The Secret Life of Walter Mitty at the Riverview with the guys and getting dinner at Vo’s. Still, not a bad weekend.

Not necessarily five good things this time. More like fascinating and/or bittersweet items:

The weekend before last my friend Luke put on his Drone Not Drones benefit show for Doctors Without Borders. I was there for roughly half of the 28 hour event and the boyfriend was there for an even greater chunk of it. I did manage to stay awake for his 2am set but I was too exhausted to take photos of it (though I took photos of other performers, when I was more alert). Not sure how many girlfriend demerits that’s worth. Anyhow, Luke plans to have streaming audio available soon. And donations are still being accepted here.