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Showing posts from January, 2013

Cold, Hard, January

People in my business hate January. There are W2s and 1099s to get out, with people already chomping at the bit to get them on January 2. (and don't let anyone tell you otherwise, 1099s are a nightmare to get right). There are quarter-end forms and annual filings. Every year, it seems, one more grantor decides it's a good idea to move an annual report filing or grant deadline to January — and they are always the complicated ones (I'm looking at you, Minnesota State Arts Board). Inevitably, board meetings and other deadlines creep in, plus just everyday work.

Then there are the other Life Decisions. This year, St. Paul Public Schools changed its application deadline to February 15. In January we have toured six potential schools for Beatrix, averaging 3 hours each between arranging the tour, getting to the school, and taking the tours. (plus extra time in frantic analysis of test scores).

Add to that work on the Winter Street house, the fact that Beatrix and I both got real…

Totally Nude*

I was incredibly lucky to grown up in the Twin Cities during the heydey of the "Minneapolis sound" of the 1980s. From early Prince (and *everyone* here has a Prince story) to thrashing Husker Du, from Trip Shakespeare to the Mats, it was a golden time of music that formed the core of what I listen to today.

But nothing, nothing was bigger to me at that time than The Wallets. I must have seen them hundreds of times. Usually outside during Movies and Music in the Park or something like that, occasionally in a club when the door staff understood that we were there to see the music and wouldn't f*ck it up by trying to order a drink ("all ages shows" were yet to be A Thing), I danced away to the punk polka sounds of those talented men.

When I saw Steve Kramer at a get-together this summer, I was surprised by how frail he looked. But as soon as we got to talking there was not an ounce of weakness in him — he was the same smart, thoughtful, creative man I had known-bu…

Groupon Cleaners - You're Doing It Wrong

I, like everyone else, love Groupons (and their related ilk). Who doesn't like getting a great deal on something you want, or even contemplating those pole-dancing fitness classes?

My friend Kate, an adamant supporter of local small business, hates Groupons. In general, she has a point — bringing up data that shows that, with the steep discount that the provider takes, it ends up anti-supporting small businesses.

I have kind of a "Groupon code of ethics" that I follow for myself. I won't use them for massages, for example; I like my massage therapist a A LOT, and a strong relationship that I can trust is worth paying for. I generally won't use them for restaurants I already have a relationship with, unless it's going to inspire me to try something truly new there. But what I will use them for is to "audition" something I want an ongoing relationship with, whether that's a restaurant, a nail salon, or in particular, a cleaning service.

You see, I…

Date Night!

Our joint New Year's resolution, which I forgot to include on my earlier list, was to go on at least one true "Date Night" a month. A true date, where we enjoy each others' company and do something fun, not just a professional obligation or even a party.

We were supposed to start last week, but Beatrix was too sick, so we took an impromptu "date event" and left Beatrix at home with Tisch while we went to Soup Night in the neighborhood. Which was really fun, but not a true "date" by the above definition. Luckily, our awesome new babysitter, Grace, was able to reschedule for tonight. Beatrix was so excited to see Grace tonight that it was practically "Don't let the door hit you in the butt on the way out, mom!"

Timing was a little tight, so we grabbed a quick bite at World Street Kitchen, which we had been wanting to try. We've been on an unofficial search for the best Minnesota shrimp po'boy, and WSK might have a contender her…

Resolved

As I commented to a friend yesterday, after Wellstone's death, it's always been the even years that were the hardest. Yet they also have offered plenty to celebrate, including my marriage (2006) and the birth of my daughter (2008).

2012 offered some of the biggest, as-of-yet unresolved challenges to both my personal and professional life yet. Still, there were lots of high points: time with friends, pool parties, Mardi Gras, spending every day with an awesome preschooler and a wonderful husband.

I was pretty much a fail on my 2012 New Year's resolutions, which included things like writing 100 letters and learning to knit. But I achieved two of the life-changing ones, which were to pay more attention to the communities in which I live and work, and to actively promote my family and friends. So I am going to declare them a qualified win.

I futzed around with a lot of ideas this year. I read 72 books in 2012 — why not aim for 100 in 2013? But that's kind of an arbitrary g…