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Detatched From Reality

Minnesotans are funny creatures. The winter was ridiculously long and hard. I understand that as much as anyone. But now that the weather has turned all suddenly summer people are really coming ALIVE. Everything is happening, everywhere. Outdoor block parties at big venues, farmers’ markets, street fairs, all the music & movie series in parks. And fashion DON’Ts offending innocent eyeballs everywhere. I took a break from unpacking on Memorial Day to drive my sun out to ValleyFair. It was crowded with (mostly) pale Minnesotan flesh as far as the eye could see. I don’t consider myself prudish but somewhere along the way I became significantly more practical. I saw teenagers and adults alike wearing items that just don’t seem safe at an amusement park. Had to bite my tongue to keep from saying “you’re going to twist your ankle in those sandals! That dangling belly button jewelry is going to get caught on one of the rides! Those extreme short shorts allow far too much of your flesh to come in contact with the seats that others will be sweating on!” But I guess we’ll need to get desensitized to that, as we’ve got unlimited Gold passes for the 2014 season. And I took a long shower to decontaminate as soon as we got home.

Five interesting music-related things:

There’s light at the end of the tunnel finally. Tomorrow we turn over the keys for our old apartment. But it is down to the wire. I took the day off from work to further purge stuff from the old place and haul two car loads of it to the new one. My boyfriend has been too busy with work to help, which sucks, but he did hire a company to clean the danged place up for us. They are doing our dirty work there right now. I was embarrassed to leave them with our filthy fridge but that’s what they get paid for, I guess.

day 252, they're here!

There’s Always A Mountain

Well, the move could have gone more smoothly. But I guess it could have been worse. Somehow. We were ill-prepared and short-handed on Saturday (but oh so appreciative of the friends who did turn up to help - thank you thank you jeebus). We didn’t get our bed re-assembled until well after midnight. And we returned the truck late on Sunday not because we were sleeping in. Oh no, we got up bright and early so we could grab one more big load - mostly filthy garage and backyard items - with just the two of us. Then moved the cats, which went about as smoothly as one might imagine. Memorial Day we moved smaller loads of stuff with our two cars. But the bulk of our belongings have now been schlepped from Point A to Point B. We have until Saturday morning to grab the stragglers. Some clothes, some dishes, some toys, most of my artwork. Gulp. At least I will be in near proximity to the old place twice a day as I drive my son over to get on and off of his regular school bus. I can keep chipping away at it until there’s nothing left. Or whatever is left can get moved straight down to the dumpsters.

Five good things that are slightly old news (from last week) that I’ve been too busy to post:

This coming weekend I *should* focus on getting our new home in order but there’s just so much going on! Like a cover band show with friends’ bands doing Siouxsie & the Banshees and Dolly Parton. And I’ve been asked to photograph the Minnesota Arm Wrestling League for Ladies SUMMER SLAM. How could I say no to that? And a good friend is coming up from the South for just a few short days. But it’s for a job interview and if all goes well he will be returning more permanently, which would be swell. After things calm down a bit I predict we’ll have a pretty kickass summer ahead.

Georgia wants some food

Box and Whisker

Are we there yet? My emotions are a sloppy mix of anticipation and impatience when it comes to our impending move. MAKE IT GO FASTER. Only we’re still not ready due to unplanned un-fun with my boyfriend’s projects at work. Last night we met at IKEA, late, to finally buy the wardrobes and shelves we were supposed to acquire weeks ago (so they’d already be assembled, pre-move). After an hour and a half of shuffling through the store I felt my life force draining with each step yet we ran out of time to actually purchase anything. We need to return tomorrow. But I have a theory, that every visit to IKEA depletes precious health points. And I haven’t located any healing magic in the store. At least I haven’t had a boss fight yet.

My top five aggregator list for today is a mixed bag. Equal parts fun and frustration! Just like my daily life.

  • The lineup for Fun Fun Fun Fest 2014 in Austin, TX has been announced. And includes King Diamond! And Judas Priest. And Chelsea Wolfe. And Guided By Voices. And Gorilla Biscuits. And Dum Dum Girls. And Julianna Barwick. I totally want to go but don’t have an unlimited travel budget.
  • In the not so fun fun fun, net neutrality is still in jeopardy. We all know the Internet is vital to innovation, economic growth and free expression in America. Here’s a good write up about why having an internet “slow” lane is a terrible idea. Sign a petition to let the FCC know how you feel. Sign a petition to let the President know how you feel. I signed both.
  • Also discouraging, Executive Editor Jill Abramson’s dismissal from the New York Times. Woman at the Top of the Masthead: The media called her “brusque” and “polarizing.” But to young women at the New York Times, Jill Abramson was everything.
  • This is a list I can get behind. Eight Great Books About Comic Books
  • Even with all the chaos in our lives right now we’ve managed to keep up with Game of Thrones. And, even better, Gay of Thrones! Starring hairstylist Jonathan Van Ness, who is just fabulous. And Margaret Cho guest stars in this week’s recap!

    Best of all are the names he gives to each character, which are uncannily dead on, often offensive, and ridiculously funny. There is Jamie Lannister as “Brother D” (short for Brother Daddy), Shae as “Capital City Celine,” and Ygritte as “that beautiful ginger bitch from Downton Abbey.”

In the moving TOO FAST department, I just mailed in my son’s course registration forms for 9th grade. That’s HIGH SCHOOL, like, for real. Happening in September. As he ages and matures our unique challenges change. I had his summer all planned out but those plans have been upended. Thankfully we’ve got some wonderful grandparents and friends who have happily stepped up to ensure he’ll have an amazing summer and I can carry on without worrying. Too much.

The Fabulous Mads

Dwelling in Possibility

Often I cook for comfort. To keep myself physically and mentally occupied while stressed. Yesterday it was a crock pot full of vegetarian chili and a batch of black bean brownies (I also walked down to the grocery store and back). I probably need to get a little more Zen instead. Maybe meditate. Dip my toe into the flow of the universe as others are celebrating this Vesak Day (Buddha’s Birthday). But who am I kidding? My brain is all about the distractions and illusory conflicts of the material world. And I will always have more recipes to test out.

Five good things for Thursday:

  • Love this: Iranian women discard their hijabs for ’stealthy freedom’ Facebook page
  • The premiere has been announced for the My Bloody Valentine, Cocteau Twins, Jesus and Mary Chain documentary Beautiful Noise. Watch the trailer here.
  • This fan made live action Akira trailer is something else. And features the adorable Osric Chau (the prophet Kevin Tran from Supernatural).
  • The first season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was bumpy at times but the finale was spectacular. Thank you Joss Whedon. I’ve also gotten into his little brother Zack’s show, Rubicon. Sad that AMC canceled it after just one season.
  • Some helpful suggestions. Particularly for those of us with flexible work schedules. How To Do Work: 8 strategies to follow when you need to get your shit together and actually accomplish something. Lately I’ve been working from home more than at the office but I manage to keep myself on task by planning out my days. I used to rely on 37 Signal’s BackPack (launched in 2005 “so people could keep life’s loose ends together in one place online”) list but it’s been retired. I switched over to Google Keep to keep track of my loose ends. Well, some of them at any rate

One of my favorite Minneapolis events every year - musical or otherwise - is Heliotrope. Last year the festival had to be put on hold and its absence left a hole in my heart. Happenings like this are inspiring and restorative. Thankfully it’s returning this year. And on a more convenient weekend (for me, personally - it was often held Memorial Day weekend but that’s when we’re moving this year). Heliotrope X will be held June 5th through June 7th and at a new venue - Intermedia Arts in Uptown. The line-up has been announced and it’s chock full of favorites. Really looking forward to this.

May Day Parade 2014

All That Glitters Is Not Gold

As a household we’ve hit a rough patch. Mostly unrelated factors at play, combining to make daily life much harder than it should be. Friday was the 25th anniversary of my brother Tom’s death. Instead of moping all day I focused on my happy memories of him. And celebrated his life by taking my son to the Chatterbox Pub to play the old school Nintendo games my brother enjoyed so much. That day I also picked up my new eyeglasses. Which had to be re-made after the initial prescription made me ill. And they still are not right. My son is in the midst of some teen angst (I’m taking him to a new therapist soon). Yesterday I spent a ridiculous amount of time on the phone with Delta attempting to procure his “unaccompanied minor” plane ticket to visit his grandparents. While my boyfriend put in 14 hours at work yesterday. And on his way home he received a speeding ticket. And we are nowhere near ready for our big move, which is less than two weeks away. It really has been death by a thousand cuts lately. We just have to get to the other side of the Fire Swamp and avoid the Pit of Despair.

Five random things for this gloomy Tuesday:

It hasn’t been all sad trombone style lately. We’ve had some fun times interspersed with the stress. Sunday was both Mother’s Day and my partner’s birthday. In the morning we tried out Corner Table’s new brunch offerings (tasty) in their new space, just a few blocks up Nicollet from the old one. Napped in the afternoon. Stopped by a South Minneapolis backyard to see The Dark Globe Memorial Big Band performing inside a geodesic dome. Then enjoyed a delicious dinner at a new Japanese restaurant called Kyatchi, that focuses on sustainable foods (right up my alley). We are looking forward to residing in our new SW Minneapolis home, so close to lots of friends, restaurants and natural wonders. Oh, and a Lakewinds Co-op is opening near our new place too.

setting up for The Dark Globe Memorial Big Band in the dome

Under the Volcano

I feel like I’ve been lucky, for the most part. Single parenting isn’t easy. Especially with a special needs child. But despite hitting puberty my teen is generally on the easygoing and happy-go-lucky end of the spectrum. Of course I will always worry about him. Worry about his vulnerability and how trusting he is. I am concerned about his inability to communicate nuance to me in complicated situations. Because life gets complicated. Right now something is bothering him and I’m not sure I’ll ever know what it is. That bothers me. And it’s even more complicated than that. Naturally.

Five temporary distractions:

The last two nights should have spent in the backyard, having a fire, but I was playing catch up on photo editing and big life stuff. And here comes the rain again. Now I have the Eurythmics song stuck in my head. And you probably do too, if you’re reading this. But it’s a damned fine earworm as far as earworms go.

Goblin, Performing Suspiria

The Staggering Immensity of Time

Often I try to remind myself of the Cosmic Calendar and that I’m just a puny human on this miniscule floating rock, hurtling through space, whose life is just a tiny little blip. Thank you, Cosmos. But it’s still easy to get wrapped up in daily life. Last weekend should have been spent dismantling our home, in earnest. But it feels like there’s never enough time, funds are low and stress levels are HIGH. My boyfriend has been putting in a lot of overtime at work (unpaid), staying late daily and going in on the weekends. I’ve been scrambling to get all of my bases covered financially. We knew this month would be painful. We paid rent twice - for our current apartment and the one we are moving into. On top of a full month’s rent for damage deposit. And we’ve begun purchasing items for the new place and I’ve reserved a moving truck. Naturally payment is due soon for summer camp too. EVERYTHING ALL AT ONCE. So I needed a little break from tearing my hair out this past weekend and gave in to good times with my son. Saturday we kicked things off with an advanced screening of Legends of Oz, in 3D (not very good but free). Then hit up two comic book shops for Free Comic Book Day. Then stopped by a lovely outdoor potluck (I made sweet potato/black bean enchiladas). And ended the day with the endurance test of Cinco De Mayhem. We were there for five hours watching pinata after pinata be destroyed. My son’s Jack Skellington was somewhere in the middle while my teeny little Totoro was second to last. And popped open with one good whack.

Now for four great things and one stupid one:

This weekend I plan to give the household my thorough attention. Moving boxes and packing tape have been acquired. Purging has begun. I’ve photographed some items to be sold or given away. I’ve even got my first eBay listing up in years, and it’s doing well. Naturally I was just offered a wedding to shoot at the last minute, on Saturday. It’s tempting to say yes because we could use the money but I’m in one of those “time is money” modes and the moving house countdown has begun.

When I saw this I got Hall & Oates "Private Eye" stuck in my head. Watching you, watching you

Deep Inside the Light

Hari Kondabolu was just as hilarious as I’d expected him to be. And dang, did I ever need that. The local openers were super funny as well. I’ll definitely check out Brandi Brown and Raghav Mehta again sometime. And you should too!

Five random things for this Thor’s Day:

Wowza this weekend is going to be CRAZY. Saturday morning we’ll be all about Free Comic Book Day, of course. Particularly at The Source because that’s where the most costumed people hang out. Our apartment is being shown, yet again, at noon so we have to be out but that shouldn’t be a problem. We’re also being interviewed about our pinatas for Cinco de Mayhem at some point during the day. Then we’ve got a vegan-friendly spring potluck to check out before doubling back for the big event itself, to bear witness to our masterpieces being smashed to smithereens. Then Sunday is Heart of the Beast’s annual May Day celebration! They are looking for volunteers. But we’ll be too busy visiting with friends. Hopefully the weather will be warmer or at least dry by then.

LOOP

The Mystery of the Rainbow

Motivation has been hard to come by while we’re stuck in a rut of endless cold rain, mixed with snow. But I’ll take this over polar arctic vortex cold any day. And we have managed to get some tasks completed. Maybe not the right ones. This past weekend we prioritized art projects over packing and preparing for our move next month. But we finished our pinatas for Cinco de Mayhem! Delivering our fragile paper mache creations in the rain was a nerve-wracking experience last night, but we had encased them in cardboard boxes wrapped in plastic bags and taped it all up tight so they survived their relocation. And our relationships are still intact, despite some minor disputes and creative differences (it took our household of three humans all weekend to create the two pinatas).

Five good things for today:

Tonight I’m taking a break from stress-y things to indulge in some much-needed laughter. The unlikely comedian Hari Kondabolu will be performing at The Cedar Cultural Center.

Comic Hari Kondabolu’s album Waiting for 2042 is a reference to the year the Census Bureau projects whites will be the minority in the U.S. “Don’t worry, white people,” he says. “You were a minority when you came to this country. Things seemed to have worked out for you.”

Kondabolu has an M.A. in human rights and was working as an immigrant rights’ organizer - important work - before his stand-up career took off. But I feel like he’s still doing amazing outreach work, and reaching a much wider audience now through comedy, considering much of his material focuses on racism and colonialism while still being funny. A pretty amazing feat.

teenager-in-the-wild

See For Yourself

It’s like Adventure Time’s Ice King has moved to Minnesota. I’m still wearing my SmartWool socks, winter gloves and more when I leave the house. Yet I’ve already been besieged by seasonal allergies. Worst of both worlds. Springtime in the hinterlands has left me unmotivated. I’m falling horribly behind on my To Do list.

However, here are five good things for this windy, cold, wet, gloomy Wednesday:

We’re cat-sitting for the friends who watched our cats while we were away on Spring break. After school today we visited with the cats for a while before heading to the Chatterbox Pub for old school Nintendo games with a side on onion rings. That was a nice little pick me up. A better one might be a vacation in Belize at this point.

SEA-con-adventure-time