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Middle of the Road

We’ve made it to Wednesday but I feel like I haven’t gotten enough accomplished this week. Monday night I took a break from busting my ass because I had purchased a ticket, pre-move, for a Pretenders show with friends. And Chrissie Hynde did not disappoint. That woman is AMAZING. Her voice is as incredible as ever and she seemed to be in a terrific mood. Totally worth it. But I am in the final countdown before the move on Saturday. Thankfully I’ve taken the day off Friday. Then I will frantically get everything packed up and staged for the professional movers.

Five Good Things:

  • I’m all about this She-Ra revival! I am not all about this small camp of dudes who are furious that She-Ra, a fictional cartoon hero, is not “sexy” enough for them. This tweet sums it up nicely. And more great tweets. Not everything is for you, gross adult guys. I’m excited for a new generation of kids to have strong female role models. And hopefully the show will be inclusive in other ways. Representation is a wonderful thing.
  • I’ve been enjoying the latest from Protomartyr, Consolation, with Kelley Deal. So dreamy.
  • And here’s a podcast convo between Protomartyr and The Raincoats, at Rough Trade East.
  • A gigantic shirtless Jeff Goldblum statue has suddenly appearing in London. I have…feelings about this. But the best twitter reply to it: You guys were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should!
  • Some day - soon I hope - I’ll be done packing and unpacking and talking about this move. But it’s front of mind for now. And packing involves a certain amount of nostalgia as one handles objects one may or may not have seen for some time. I’ve encountered so many nostalgia bombs this time around. So why not add to it? I finally picked up Brian K. Vaughan’s first volume of Paper Girls which should transport me back to the 80s, once I have time to sit down and read it.
Philadelphia in the Fall

You Can’t Hold Two Watermelons In One Hand

As a woman and mother I have been socialized to put others’ needs before mine. The older I get the better I have gotten about taking care of myself. Still a work in progress but I’ve been learning to say no and scale back when I need to. This coming Saturday I was slated to have a booth at our Strange Girls Night Market but I’ve decided to bow out. It wasn’t until after committing to the event that our sudden need to move sprang up. Which is now happening that same day. Moving the kid and the cats and our belongings into the new house takes priority. Over everything right now, really. This past weekend was spent organizing everything. Saturday morning we dropped off a load of broken electronics at Tech Dump then got back to packing. Yesterday we picked up keys to the new place while dropping off a hatchback full of stuff in the new garage. Last night I finally tossed out old makeup, some of which I’d been lugging around for years. Most was ancient and not the right color and I hardly wear makeup anyhow. But I made the mistake of throwing away ALL of my mascara. So this morning I had none whatsoever to put on. I’ll blame my overzealousness on the bottle of Chenin Blanc I popped open. And I may or may not have been binge watching C.B. Strike while loading up moving boxes. I am a sucker for quirky police and PI shows.

Five Good Things for this Monday:

leftover watermelon

It’s All Part of the Dance

Trash talk Facebook all you want, my friends, it still has its uses. Like event planning. That’s how I know when and where all my friends’ bands are playing (when I’m too tired to go see them and end up falling asleep before 10pm). And I’ve been offloading all sorts of stuff I don’t want to take with us this next move. And Facebook can be great for recommendations and networking. Monday I posted about my son’s dream job falling through and needing to find other employers who embrace neurodiversity. So many folks offered great suggestions. We’re checking one out today. I’m not sure how to increase my kid’s enthusiasm. He really had his heart set on the other job. I don’t know how much of it is related to his autism and how much is the fact that he’s a teenaged male and an only child and the oldest grandkid. Honestly this is probably a good life lesson, that you can’t always get what you want.

Five-ish Good Things:

Our big move is just ten days away now, though I have until the end of July to get everything out of the old place. The timing was perfect to find out about this great resource for Minneapolis area residents. I’ll try to thoughtfully donate the items I don’t sell at our big moving sale.

spooky giant sculptures

Disorientating Dilemmas

Another con down. I just drove my son to the suburbs four mornings in a row to drop him off at CONvergence (then spent much of my weekend packing up the house for our impending move). His father drove him back each evening. Attendees who stay on site, at the hotel, typically come up with a new costume for each day but my kid tends to cosplay in the same outfit all four days. Which means that outfit must be seriously ripe. I hope he’s throwing it in the wash today. This was the last CONvergence being held at that location. Thankfully they are moving downtown next year.

My teen had been holding out hope he would get his dream job for a first job. Initially things were looking good right after school let out. But as the weeks after graduation dragged on and he never heard back, we found out the place actually had to let a few people go. Some folks with autism don’t deal with change very well. My son had his mind set on working at this place. Getting him to consider other options is not going well. We need to find an employer that is open to neurodiversity, and would let him keep his beard (sigh) and purple hair. Good luck to us! We’re going to need it. At least some employers acknowledge that autistic workers make good employees.

Five Good Things for this full work week:

Nick, a human, and Dan, his Cornish Rex kitten
Dan, a Cornish Rex kitten

Explosion Without An Objective

Tuesday night I treated myself to a live Janelle Monáe show. Life has been overwhelming lately (moving is always stressful) and I was dead tired. But it was just what I needed. So much love and positivity and acceptance in that space. Thankfully I was able to sleep in a bit the following morning, the 4th of July. Many found it difficult to celebrate the holiday with the current state of affairs in this country, myself included. But I chose to treat it as a paid day off to spend with friends.

Five Good Things for this Thursday that feels like a Monday:

Wet Hot American Summer

Feeling Some Kind of Way

The weekend was a mix of relaxation and taking care of business. Mostly the latter. I’ve been going full-on Marie Kondo with the radical decluttering of our home. Now that it’s July our move is just a few weeks away. Purging feels amazing. And I even made a little money, though it was bittersweet. I parted with a pile of punk and hardcore records I’d been hanging on to for years. Some since junior high. I only saved a small stack of records with the most sentimental value. Saturday my son and I set up a table at the Extreme Noise Flea Market. Extreme Noise is a volunteer run co-op/institution in Minneapolis. Before I was even done unloading those fine folks swooped in. They pulled out a pile of my more valuable items and set them aside. Later that day they gave me an extremely generous amount of money for them, while I sold the less rare stuff at the flea market for a fair chunk of change. Sadly those funds are only temporarily visiting my banking account. This morning I finally took my car in for much-needed repairs and had to rent a loaner car. The hit to my pocketbook will hurt but I’ll feel better when the car’s issues have been resolved.

Five Good Things:

  • I’ve been a big Saul Williams fan for years. Right now he’s got a Kickstarter to back Neptune Frost, a musical he’s written and would like to direct. If that happens I would love to see it.
  • Interesting interview with Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the man who created the World Wide Web, has some regrets. As well he should.
  • To guard against climate change, Los Angeles is painting its streets white. They plan to lower the temperature by 3 degrees over the next 20 years. And vertical forest residential towers in Milan, Italy are fighting air pollution. More cities need to get on top of initiatives like this.
  • Protests
  • A Letter Of Hope from Henry Rollins:
    Do all the protests, do all the direct action, make all the phone calls, then mobilize in October and November. That’s when we can get off the ropes and start punching again. Take the long view, my sisters and brothers. Don’t let them take you out of the fight.

  • It’s important to make time for comedy in dark times. This week I’m going back to ACME with my co-workers to see Laurie Kilmartin. Good stand-up always makes me feel better.

Thank You For Not Howling At The Wolves

May and June have been hard on my health and my nerves, with the property management company fighting me on mold abatement. But now I’ve signed the lease for our new place, reserved professional movers, begun packing and selling off unneeded stuff. I’ve had a visit with a pulmonary specialist (who agreed it was the mold making me sick and suggested I move). And I finally made an appointment for car repairs next week. Personal life - sorted! Then I poked my head up from my hidey hole and BOOM. This week the Supreme Court upheld Trump’s travel ban, Justice Kennedy announced his retirement, the Janus Decision damages public sector unions by overturning 40 years of precedent and today there was another mass shooting in our gun-happy nation. Awful. Trying to stay positive for my health but it is hard.

Five Good Things for Friday:

The 4th of July holiday is smack dab in the middle of the week this year. I’m not taking any time off before or after but some old friends are hosting a backyard hang the day of. And another one of my closest friends is coming back to visit for a bit. At least I’ll have some socializing to mix in with tedious moving prep.

This poor fire bunny didn't survive the night

Mind How You Go

A Monday birthday in one’s 40s isn’t all that. And that’s all right. There were a few happenings around town last night that would have been more compelling on a Saturday. Instead I enjoyed a quiet dinner with my son and some friends (dinner with three left-handed vegans, now there’s a unique demographic) at Namaste. Then went home to fall asleep on the couch halfway through a new episode of Endeavour. For today I had planned on a Pizza Farm adventure with a couple of friends but that had to be postponed. And that’s ok. I’m more flexible these days and not so easily disappointed. There are some upsides to aging.

Four Mostly Good Things for a dark and stormy Tuesday, and One Meh One:

My first day of 45 was solid. I worked from our current home then signed the lease for our new home. Also started listing some smaller items on ebay that I don’t want to move along with us. And I’ve made a big decision…to sell my audio components rather than hauling them to the new house, where it would just take up space and collect dust. This Saturday I’ll have a table at Extreme Noise’s Flea Market to send off some of my records to good homes. And on craigslist I will be letting go of an Onkyo turntable, Marantz PMD500 dual cassette deck and Sony 5-disc CD changer and more. Feels good.

slick steps
rising water

Difference is a Teacher

Bittersweet birthday today. I was born on my Dad’s 29th birthday, which I’ve always loved. But we also share our birthday with Anthony Bourdain. He would have been 62 today. Such a bummer. Earlier today my Dad also reminded me that Custer’s Last Stand was on this date. Every year he reminds me of this. He also used to tell me I was the best birthday present he ever got. He hasn’t said that in a very long time. He must have received a better birthday present at some point. I wonder what it was.

Spent the weekend preparing for our sudden move to a new home. Getting items checked off the To Do list feels good. I’ve put a deposit down on a moving company. Up next, contacting all of our utilities to get services switched over on the right date. And shopping for the little things like a shower curtain and dish drainer (we won’t have a dishwasher in the new place, which will be tough). I’ve also ordered a new, more compact desk to fit the space where I’ll be working from home. My current desk is a big ugly beast. And I’m oddly excited about my first new set of flatware in years. My dear ex-husband picked out the set I currently have and I’ve never liked it. The pieces are weighted all wrong and too big for my small paws. My ex is more than happy to take back the half-set he left behind, to be reunited with his half of the set. And I’ll get new flatware that will, hopefully, not frustrate me so much. Win-win.

Still processing yet another police killing in Minneapolis, of an African American man, IN THE BACK. I have no time for people who don’t acknowledge institutional racism. This is a great twitter thread about systemic oppression. It is real. I was also dismayed to hear about white attendees of the Pride parade yesterday who found Black Lives Matter protestors to be off-putting. Pride began as an anniversary of the Stonewall riots, that were protesting police brutality. If you’re going to attend Pride you should be aware of that history and welcome others protesting injustice. I am baffled by those who can’t make that connection. Also, trust black women. I feel like I adding those three words to every conversation I’m having about anything ever.

How about Five Good Things for my 45th Birthday?

  • So I’m 45 today. Solidly middle-aged I guess. Some day I hope to become as amazing as these women: The Glamorous Grandmas of Instagram
  • Last year Lynn Marie ‘Fluffy’ Murray passed away. She was the proprietor of the beloved South Minneapolis safe haven for weirdos like me, The Book Trader. She was the best kind of hoarder. Her business was so packed with amazing things it was difficult to navigate. Shoppers had to carefully wend their way through single file. She knew the history of each item you brought up to purchase. If she didn’t feel like it she wouldn’t sell the thing to you, if she deemed you unworthy. That never happened to me but I saw it happen to others. We bonded over Palad khik once - Thai penis charms - and I was good in her books after that. I’m not sure what the story is with this, but turns out The Book Trader will be open one day only. On the 4th of July. But I really don’t need any more stuff. In fact, I’m holding an estate sale to offload some of the excess I’d rather not move into our new place.
  • When my son was small we watched a multi-part Beatles documentary series. He isn’t much of a music fan in general (though I’m still music obsessed) but the Beatles stuck with him. He is very aware that Paul and Ringo are the only surviving members and he wonders how often they hang out. Saturday morning I asked my son to watch this with me: James Corden tears up at Paul McCartney’s carpool karaoke.
  • That’ll do, pig. Be free.
  • I took a break from packing Saturday day to go to Twin Cities Pride for a bit. Then another break in the evening to watch Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette. Wow. Powerful stuff. Watch it. Trust me.
Pride rainbow balloons
Twin Cities Pride 2018

Where Your Mind Wants To Go

Another utterly draining week is coming to a close. Particularly with this news cycle, with caged children and a FLOTUS touring the detention facilities wearing a jacket with the words “I really don’t care do u?” on the back. But also on a personal level. Change is hard. Especially sudden change, and for someone with autism. Yesterday I made the tough decision to move my son and I out of our home of 4+ years. But there’s mold in the bones of this place and it’s aggravating my asthma. I’ve been too patient with the Property Management Company. It took them one full month to pull up wet carpet from my bedroom floor. A housing inspector came by yesterday and scolded me for not contacting the city sooner. I had recently renewed our lease for another two years but the landlord is letting me out of it without a penalty. They should be doing a whole lot more than that, all things considered. I’m heartsick as my son and I really loved this place. It was the perfect amount of space for the two of us, with all the bells and whistles. But we will be renting from friends instead. Landlords who will live just next door and are decent human beings instead of heartless, greedy bastards. It’s all happening so suddenly and we have so much work to do to prepare for it. Not much time for daydreaming or dilly dallying this summer. Taking a brief break from all the stress to celebrate my birthday at Pizza Farm next week. And I just realized that I’ve got a booth at the Strange Girls Summer Night Market the day we’re planning to move. Somehow I will make this work. And then I will thoroughly appreciate my vacation in October.

Five Good Things for Friday:

  • This woman. Wow. New hero.
    Most political ads don’t knock your socks off, but this one? Buckle up, buttercup. Meet MJ Hegar, she’s running for Congress in Texas District 31 and she’s just dropped a masterpiece of an introductory ad. This ad is gonna “take off” just like her career as an Air Force pilot. Hit the play button and see why MJ Hegar stands out from the crowd.

  • Billboard on 880 in Emeryville altered to read, ‘We make kids disappear. - I.C.E.
  • Best news I’ve heard all week: Edgar Wright’s Next Film Is a Documentary on Cult Pop-Rock Band Sparks
  • Just discovered fatcatart. Much wow. See for yourself.
  • Yesterday was the Solstice. I was so preoccupied with looking at apartments I nearly missed it. At the office we marked the occasion by receiving the first shipment of fresh produce from our Community Supported Agriculture program, through Open Arms. In areas with shorter growing seasons like ours every little bit must be celebrated.
Mary Lattimore, amazing experimental harpist