Sunday, September 27, 2015

Sunday Sunday

In general, I often feel so very lucky about our lives. But lately, we've been in a bit of a rut, overwhelmed and exhausted and generally just worn out. So this weekend, it was nice to regain some of the magic.

Friday night, we attended the Festival of Lights Gala for the Cathedral of Saint Paul. Though religion is not exactly my strong suit, I strongly support the building and its beautiful architecture, and the gala was lovely; plus afterwards, we got to meet friends for drinks at Saint Dinette to cap off the night perfectly!

Yesterday, we got quite a few things done around the house before heading over to the Southern to see one of the last performances of Four Humors "Lolita." (Beatrix did not join us for this one…) I swear, my face *still* hurts from laughing. An amazingly timed comic-tragic-commentary. We spent the night at "Lakansyel: The Music and Dance of Haiti" — which my client the Minnesota Global Arts Institute produced at Sundin Hall — another absolutely compelling performance.

Today, however, was totally perfect. With the girls of Beatrix's book club, we visited her friend Meara's aunt in Willmar (thanks to the amazing Jenn G. who put all this together). We brushed and hugged a pony, fed apples to horses (too windy to ride), and spent time admiring them (Doc was my favorite). We picked raspberries, and petted cats and dogs. We broke open crystalline rocks and incredible ammonites — amazing, shining nautilus fossils encased in the humblest of brown rocks. We visited a small home museum that was absolutely filled with Indian artifacts and fossils and butterflies and rocks and petrified wood and other amazing items. We bought the biggest pumpkin ever for $5. And we ended the night at Beatrix's favorite restaurant (Space Aliens, naturally), where I had a big, delicious Mudslide.

Then we watched the lunar eclipse while driving back, listening to "Hamilton" cranked up high, and then saw it in all its red super moon glory soon after we reached home, standing on the porch with our neighbors, appreciating the moment.

It's true. I'm the luckiest girl on earth.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Saturday Spectrum

As usual, our activities last weekend were remarkably varied. That's kind of the story of my life, which I realized last week when I spent a couple of hours strategizing marketing for Skewed Visions (buy a membership, won't you?), and then reserved my tickets for the Cathedral's Festival of Lights Gala.

But I digress….

Much of Saturday was spent at the Renaissance Festival (pics here). Beatrix loves the Renn Fest, and after we hit all of her favorite spots in quick succession (Mermaid Garden, Fairy Forest, Cinderella, and Princess Pavilion) we could wander around and just enjoy ourselves. We ran into our friend Alexis, bought feathers, jumped on the trampoline, pet reptiles and farm animals, saw performances, ate soup in a bread bowl and turkey legs and cream puffs, marveled at sharks in a puddle, saw Twig, shopped, and watched wonderful shows — the best of which, was, of course, the Wacky Chickens.

I've gone to Festival scores of times over the years — as a young child Beatrix's age, in my teens when it seemed all my friends were performing there (because they basically were), and more recently with Beatrix who loves it passionately. And my appreciation for that special place has grown and grown. I believe that, with the encroachment of the mine, it will for sure have to move in the next few years, and I am sad to lose that place and worried about where it will go.


That night, we got a sitter and went to Arch Lights at the Southern, which was billed as a celebration of their first year of the Art Share program and an announcement of next year's season. I've been a little mixed on my Artshare membership, actually, as much of its roll-out has been a bumpy ride. But this event was a lot of fun and very inspiring, and it was wonderful to spend time with friends and to see some people I have not seen in years and reconnect.

My one quibble (uh, ok, call it constructive criticism) is that nowhere was it advertised in advance that this was a fundraiser for the Southern! So we got there, and there was a great raffle for a wall of booze, and mystery wine/growler sales, and a "punch wall" where you could punch through a box and get a mystery prize. The latter was especially appealing because it looked for all the world like it had been a wall of boxes of kittens, where all the kittens had broken through and escaped, and I think a wall of kittens would be an excellent fundraiser.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

National ID - Not

This week, it was revealed that, beginning sometime in 2016, Minnesota drivers' licenses will not be compliant for identification on US flights (along with those from New York, New Hampshire, Louisiana, and, oddly enough, American Samoa.)

Apparently, we are one of the states who does not have strong enough residency checks when we renew driver's licenses, thanks to the 2009 legislature/Pawlenty administration voting to prohibit the Real ID Act.

There is now apparently a way to purchase an "enhanced license" that does meet these requirements. but when I renewed my driver's license last month I was not given that option.

What really raises my blood pressure about this is that, as you see above, last month I renewed my DRIVER'S LICENSE. That regulates, cleverly enough, my ability to drive. In order to receive said license, I had to be of age, receive a permit, pass a driver's test, and I have to have insurance on my car, and pass a vision test. These all relate to the optional privilege of driving a car — and only that.

Though it is used in place of an identification card (I suppose primarily because it has a picture and so many people have one), a driver's license is not intended to be an ID. Now whether or not we *should* have a national ID is an entirely other question. But I firmly believe that we are in for never-ending problems when we expect one sort of ID — one with very specific requirements and use — to stand in for another one kind of one that has national security implications.

ETA:  One of my friends just pointed out, what if you are enrolled in TSA pre-check (since TSA is where you need the ID), but have an ID from one of these states? Anyone? Bueller?

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Why I Love Living Here

Because I can take a silks class, and even though I suck at it and hurt all the next day, it's super-fun.

Because I can go to a great show (The Little Pilot, by Sandbox, at the Southern), and tell our friend who came with us that there are over 100 theatre companies in the Twin Cities, which makes me feel less bad that I don't see as much as I should.

Because today I could see Mixed Precipitation's wonderful picnic operetta Escape from Alcina's Island in a part that I did not even know existed.And because my daughter loves to dress up in costume when we go out to things.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Pool Parties

As you may or may not know, for the past several years, we hold Friday Night Pool Parties.

Pretty much every Friday, we open up the pool and the hot tub and put some condiments and other food on the table. People bring things to share, things to drink, things to grill. Patrick mans the grill and cooks up pounds and pounds of meat products. The fridge gets filled with beer.

Kids jump in the pool and everyone keeps an eye on them. Adults sometime jump in too, or just hang out and talk. People reconnect, or meet for the first time, or meet people in real life that they have only meet online. It's all ages, all stratas of life, all kinds of people.

Sometimes people come once in a summer. Sometimes they come every week. Sometimes they don't make it at all but beg us not to take them off the invite list (as if we would). Everyone seems to need these pool parties (ourselves included).

Last night someone told me that they had been talking to someone who said "I've heard about those pool parties! How do you get invited?"

Which made me smile a little. The parties are anything but exclusive. They are just a way for us to get the incredible people we know and love together on a regular basis. For us to do something good with a pool/hot tub we are fortunate to own. To make great summer memories. To give back, and to encourage people to give of themselves. To all be together something more than we are each individually.

If you've been part of the pool parties, you've been a part of that, and hold a very special place in our hearts. If you haven't made it yet — well, next summer will be here before you know it!