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Showing posts from March, 2014

Cooking With What You Have

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I'm hosting book club tonight. Our book club has been meeting for over 20 years, and although attendance ebbs and flows, and often we don't read the whole book, it's still an incredibly important part of my life. Coincidentally, Beatrix has HER first book club today, at her friend Meara's house, and I'm dying to find out how it goes!

I wanted to make something fun, and so settled on a Moroccan chickpea stew, which could sit in the crockpot all day. We had most of the ingredients already (which isn't always the case), and as an added bonus, most of them really needed to be used up (aging carrots and the like), so I felt very virtuous. I even opened a bag of cinnamon sticks I've been holding on to for awhile!

That got me in the mood to use up another on-the edge product, mainly some souring milk. I usually make a Texas sheet cake with sour milk, but today I tried a new recipe for chocolate cake, which I will also serve for book club (it's currently cookin…

Off of Snelling

Many of our neighborhood rambles take place in Ramsey Hill, especially the eastern end of Selby. But the Summit House, where I grew up, is closer to Snelling, and we've been spending more time in that area lately. Today, Snelling proved our central core.

This morning, we decided to try brunch at the new French Meadow, on Grand just west of Snelling. It just opened, after being under construction for the better part of the year. To which I say — if you spend that long building, you really should have something better to show for your efforts. The space was crowded, but most of all filled with poor design for customer service. For instance, the menus, instead of being at the end of the case where the (long) line starts, are RIGHT AT the cash register where you order — so you had better think fast. The water stand and all-too-small silverware and coffee stand are carry corner from each other, about 4' apart, so a pair of pointy edges barricades you (and the crowd gathered around …

Productive Saturday

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Apparently, we should start every Saturday by buying a truck.


We've been thinking about getting a truck for quite some time, since our neighbor sold his truck (that he often let us borrow). We wanted to go for the idea of a "community truck" — a beat-up, but reliable, truck we could have to lend out to friends as needed.And we found it in a former South Dakota government truck that we bought today, 25 years old with 90,000 miles. It definitely has its idiosyncrasies, but it's a good, solid truck, and Patrick looks like a total boss driving it.

And yes, "Truckie-Truck" (Beatrix's name, because it's apparently a boy truck) is eminently available for you to borrow and to make your life better. We really mean it when we say "community truck."

We got home, and while eating lunch, realized that nearby friends of ours had put a roll-top desk up on CraigsList. We had been looking for an art desk for Beatrix, so we put the new truck into immediate…

Why I'm a Feminist

Growing up, I  *owned* feminism. My mother, who divorced in the late 1960s and worked my whole life, exemplified it, but we never really talked about it. I, on the other hand, remember it being mine. I devoured the works of the earliest leaders, from Friedan to Dworkin. I drove all night to Washington DC for the 1989 March for Choice. I did feminist theatre, took women's studies classes, wrote my undergraduate thesis on French Feminist Literary Theory (applied to the works of 19th century British authors). Being a feminist was simply part of my core being.

Later, the phrase "I'm not a feminist, but…" uttered by other women annoyed me, as did terms like "feminazi." But really, I considered them harmless and not even worth my attention.

But now, it's personal.

Now I have a 6-year-old daughter. My daughter is pretty much like every other girl she knows. She plays with Barbies and dolls and loves to dress up in princess stuff. And she loves Frozen beyond belie…

What We Changed

First of all, for those dying to know, here't the list of people we funded and a link to some more information on the Tweet Small Change website:

Here are the ones we chose to receive micro-grants. We believe strongly in our support of each of these artists and look forward to seeing what $140.00 can do for them. Lorien Eck – @lorieneckDejunked Art – @dejunkedTracy Mumford – @mumfordmumfordSara Puotinen – @undisciplinedLingua Luna @lingualunaJun-Li – @jundashliSavage Umbrella – @sprinksparkKrista WalshGumball Collective – @gumballartsSkewed Visions- @skewedvisionsI've been asked a lot of questions on this, and I will likely say some more in the future. To answer a few of the top questions — this was entirely funded by Patrick and myself, because we believed strongly in it and wanted to make it happen and didn't mind eating ramen for awhile to save the cash. And yes, we are planning to do it again, but need to source some more viable funding options.
There was a great energy a…

Tweet Small Change

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As many of you know, both art and community change has been on my mind a lot lately. You’ve listened to me rant, bought me another drink as I postulated, and joined me in wondering “How can we make this different?”
It was another late night at another reception when I began to really think about this hard. And then I came home and talked all night to my husband about it. And we (well, Gladhill Rhone LLC) decided that, if we wanted to make innovative art happen, we had better put our money where our mouths were.
Today — March 4 — help us make Tweet Small Change happen. Basically, you have 48 hours to give us your best small arts project pitch in a tweet. Yes, in 140 characters or less, using the hashtag #tweetsmallchange. After 48 hours, we’ll pick ten projects to get micro-grants of $140 each.
Then, you go do art. The only thing that we ask is that you somehow document the project on social media — Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, whatever, it’s up to you — and share it back via the @AChang…