Tag Archives: Minneapolis

The Short Stack: May 23

Every Friday, I share  the pop culture, fashion, lit and randomness that crossed my radar during the week. Enjoy with some coconut water and circus peanuts!

I know I can’t save the world but I can do my part to make it a better place and that’s why I’m leading off with this:

Really ugly jean shorts

This is a mistake. There’s a shop online that’s trying to sell this as a look for summer. No, no, no… this is not a look one purchases. This is a look one arrives at after a series of bad choices that initially have nothing to do with clothing.

To my mind, this is a look we left behind in the 90s, emerging as better, stronger, faster people once this was behind us.

I saw an article in a magazine that asked people, “When did you know you were really an adult?” and, had I been asked as a “woman on the street,”  I would have said, “The day I knew cut-off denim shorts were no longer an option for me, not because I have heavy thighs but because I have taste.”

[OK, I do kind of hate my thighs. I guess I’m not that evolved.]

[Being a “woman on the street” interview would be on my bucket list if I could stand the term “bucket list.” But I don’t want to be asked something like, “What do you think was the most important outcome of The Second Sino-Japanese War?” I want someone to ask me, “What do you think of jean shorts?” so that I can say, ‘I despise them. Jean shorts are everything that’s wrong with our society today.” ]

The Murakami t-shirts arrived!

Peter Cat Jazz Murakami tshirt

I discovered They Draw and Cook this week and got super excited. They have cool t-shirts with a monkey on them, too. I’m going to make blueberry muffins.

Shopping IRL
The Grand Hand Gallery in St. Paul
Zinnia Folk Arts in Mpls

Shopping Online
Chiapas Bazaar

You probably know this but Orange Is the New Black season deuce comes out at 12:01 am on June 6. But you probably knew. You’re all connected and shit.

Chromeo’s lastest, White Woman, is out.

Haruki Murakami and the Music of Words (Yeah, I’m on a kick)
The Origin of Satan (we should all know, right?)

*Preparing annual Summer Reading List, to be shared on this site and then (probably) promptly disregarded.

Looking At

Some of the best work I saw at last weekend’s Art-a-Whirl in Northeast Mpls was hanging in a hallway at the California Building – the paintings of Ryan Peltier, an artist and illustrator from Minneapolis.

painting by Ryan Peltier

His work, painted on boards and framed in dark wood, has an otherworldly feel, like you’re looking through a porthole at action you can’t quite understand – it could either be an innocent gathering or happening or very sinister. Maybe it’s both – poised right at the moment when something is about to take a dark turn. It’s hard to tell, which is why you want to keep on studying it and forming a narrative.

There’s something about his style that reminds me a little bit of the work of cartoonist Charles Addams.

When I went online to find his site, I also discovered his awesome illustrations of people in addition to his paintings.

Thinking About
Kanashibari (Sleep Paralysis)

Why my dog likes to roll on top of dead animals with liquified organs that get into the scruff of her neck and are sprayed all over my face when she shakes herself off mid-bath.

What to do when I find out that people I like/respect sincerely believe in astronomy.

Why anyone would throw a “90s Dance Party” and not play a single hip hop song? Few people want to dance to Better Than Ezra, many people want to dance to “Daisy Duks” by Duice. Hey, fat man who hasn’t left his basement since 1997, I don’t make the rules. Listen to the people. I’ll even let you wear those jean shorts.

[Warning: only watch this video if you want this song in your head for the next three days.]



The Short Stack: January 24

Every Friday, I share  the pop culture, fashion, lit and random blips that were on my radar during the week. Enjoy! 

Let’s get the important stuff out of the way first. Is it me, or is putting a necklace on a baby, especially a black necklace of, like, a spider, pretty creep?

baby wearing a creepy necklace

Second in importance only to babies wearing costume jewelery, I’ve been exercising. Big deal, right? Well, it’s a big deal when you are starting from ground zero for arm muscles – suddenly you’re in a Body Pump class doing bicep curls in unison with 35 other people, some of whom have something to prove. I’ve now done the class three times and I go home and stand in front of the mirror looking for definition. What gets me through the class is thinking about the day I will wear a tank top, long flowy skirt and some kind of pretentious fedora on a summer day, preferably to an art show in a park, and I look amazing.

Soon I’ll be able to get in on the tail end of the moto craze. I’ll buy cute new clothes from Blank NYC (vegan clothing!) and Everlane (fair trade!).

It’s not all about clothes, even though I make it sound like that. Caring about clothes too much makes you boring, like the intern we just got rid of at work who spent 98% of her free time shopping and getting dressed, 1% sleeping, .5% eating and .5% doing work for us. She would prance into work mid-afternoon in these super cute, trendy outfits (I never saw her in the same outfit in 6 months), full make-up, hair all done up and it would turn out that all the fanfare was so that she could go have coffee with her dad. Hmmm… that brings us to…

Lifetime: I know the ratings were through the roof, but your Flowers In the Attic was a big yawn. OK, I give you that it was more “true to the book” than the original film adaptation in that you actually followed the plot – mostly – but what’s with no sex scenes? What’s with one little glimpse of Kiernan Shipka in a choppy wig instead of making her shave her head after the hair-cutting scene? Let’s take some cable-sized risks. I’ll tell you one thing: the kid who played Cory in the 1987 movie did a much better job of acting as though he were dying of poisoning:

Cory in Flowers in the attic
Now that’s what I call acting!

All this terribleness, combined with Heather Grahams’ insatiable desire to chew the scenery (I think her sole talent is that she can rock a pencil skirt),  made me wonder what V.C. Andrews would think, which made me wonder about V.C. Andrews, which got me to Googling and then this surprisingly thorough VC Andrews article on BuzzFeed.

Project Runway: Under the Gunn… YES! It started out slow but by the end of episode one, which you can watch for free, it started to look as though mentor Nick Verreos is assembling the Bad News Bears of fashion designers. Must watch.

Bad Banana
Senile Don Draper
We Are New Yorkers

Homer and Langley by E.L. Doctorow, a fictional account of New York’s Collyers brothers (hermits and hoarders) that is good to read at 1 am when you can’t sleep.

Conquered Tori Spelling’s Mommywood mountain, though it was tough going and I had to start skimming in order to preserve some faith in humanity. That hasn’t stopped me from reserving Uncharted terriTORI at the library (and yes, the grammar on that, including lack of capitalization, drive me insane).

Going (if I ever recover from exercising)
“Vivian Maier: Out of the Shadows” exhibit opens at the Minneapolis Photo Center tonight.
Zinnia Folk Arts is having a series of trunk shows with artist B.J. Christofferson.
Don’t forget this month-long vintage sale – Blacklist Vintage in Mpls is closing!
Show your love for the Mpls Institute of Arts by doing this stamp thingy and you’ll get a big discount in the museum store + be entered to win something fab + you’ll be at the museum and can look at lots of art, like this:

painting by Santos Dumont


You could make this Admiral Sackbar puppet for someone and it would be cute.

Living By The Book: Miracle Walks

Hello, welcome to more Living By the Book.

I continue living the book Inspiration Sandwich by investigating the concept of Miracle Walks.

Miracle Walking is walking while being hyper-aware of everything around you. It’s saying hello to people. Not being in a rush. Checking out the sky.

SARK says, “Bring a small bag packed for extraterrestrial travel. Wear a brightly colored hat and pick a destination that delights you… Notice colors. Dream while moving.”

Note: You can skip the brightly colored hat. No, really.

I already walk everyday in every kind of weather. This is because I co-habit with a dog:

Freja the dog waiting to go for a walk.

This dog walks twice a day. When she was a crazy puppy, we trained her to want to walk and now that’s what we’re stuck with twice a day. But, since I walk everyday, I often do it without actually noticing anything at all.

So my mission was to go on some Miracle Walks. This also fits with SARK’s mandate to “Let your dog take you for a walk.”

Continue reading Living By The Book: Miracle Walks

Wednesday Outlook: June 8, 2011

I started reading A Moveable Feast last night and it has set my brain on fire. First because I’ve had an idea for a series of funny shorts or “episodes” about Hemingway and Fitzgerald and I’m finding them to be just the sort of characters I imagined, with plenty of pathos and brilliance to play upon. But also because the book is quite the remedy for writing procrastination. Reading about Hemingway’s writing habits is both inspiring and guilt-inducing.

Of course, the world is a different place today than it was in 1920’s Paris but the fundamentals of getting writing done are the same. Have a routine. Have a ritual. Work just long enough that you accomplish good work for the day but quit when things are at an interesting point, giving you an impetus to show up at the page the next day. Then shut down that part of your brain and go about the business of living – go get a racing sheet, go to the cafes, get some exercise, look for good books to read and have a meal.

It sounds easy and decadent in a way – ah, the life of a writer in Paris. But underneath it all I suspect that it was a bit of a grind and plagued with self-doubt. This was before Hemingway had published a novel and was writing “journalism,” as he called it, and short stories. He read Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and supposedly was consumed with admiration and jealousy, knowing that he must attempt the same in order to move forward in his writing.

One a tiny scale, I’m having some of the same writer’s predicament. I don’t believe in writer’s block but I do believe in unhealthy, pathological procrastination and that’s what I’ve been experiencing. I’m within 20 pages of finishing a second draft of a screenplay that I believe to be good and interesting but I’ve stalled out. Every day I resolve to sit down with it and then find other things to do. Oh, the kitchen sink needs scrubbing. Time for a bike ride… For weeks I’ve told myself that it’s OK; that my subconscious is simply doing some “behind-the-scenes” work and it will all become clear soon enough but that’s a bunch of bullshit. Nothing will work itself out unless I sit there and stare at it, writing and deleting until something starts to stick.

I don’t know why I do this. I suspect it has a lot to do with the fear of failure. I already know that was was in my head when I started out is not what’s on the page and that’s a hard thing to reconcile. Why can’t the two match up? But that’s simply another fact of writing or any creative endeavor. They never match up. Or very rarely. Or maybe a scene or a page does and that’s all you get.

Often I’m puzzled by why people continue to revere Hemingway. Some of his writing leaves me not exactly cold but certainly cool. But A Moveable Feast allows a glimpse of vulnerability not often associated with him. Yes, he would stare out at the street and wonder if his stories would ever sell. Yes, he struggled daily with writing. But the heroic thing he did, more than the boxing, deep-sea fishing and African safaris was to show up, day after day, and keeping after it because it was simply his purpose in life.

Watching: The Larry Sanders show – started at Season 1 (1992) and moving along through the 85 episodes! Will probably break for third season of Breaking Bad, which came out on DVD on Tuesday.

Doing: Making a big collage and also screen printing a t-shirt (which will soon be featured on Not Shallow as part of 99 Projects). Also, taking a kettlebell class at Four Gates in Minneapolis – a relatively new studio with great instructors and a laid-back attitude.

Anticipating: Excited to see Midnight in Paris, the new Woody Allen film and to eat at Wise Acre Eatery in South Mpls!



The List: Sad Summer Events Part I

Sometimes I think summer might be the saddest season of the year. Yes, the weather is great and life is easier. But it’s also the time when we become nostalgic about summers past and spend a lot of time trying too hard to have fun and recapture past glory. People tend to organize a lot of silly events to make people feel young again, get families to spend time with one another or invoke town pride.

So this week I present: The Saddest & Lamest Events of Summer 2009 (in the Twin Cities area)

Continue reading The List: Sad Summer Events Part I

The Perfect Date: Spargelfest & Taking The Air

Two friends of mine have commented, at different times and unbeknownst to each other, that I’m pretty much an old lady. Why? I guess because I prefer to stay home, pretty much, and I go to bed early. And I drink a lot of tea. And I use words like “unbeknownst” and say things to myself like, “I’m having a devil of a time threading this needle!”

But the Black Forest Inn in Minneapolis is having a celebration from May 22-31st that all dorky “old ladies” of German heritage like me (and I suppose people who refer to themselves as “foodies”), will coo over: Spargelfest! What is it? Why, it’s a celebration of that most old lady of vegetables, asparagus. One eats many asparagus-laden dishes and then perhaps “takes the air” on Nicollet Avenue. A promenade, if you will, down a street filled with “boom cars” that need to be tsk-tsk’d.

Continue reading The Perfect Date: Spargelfest & Taking The Air