Posts

Showing posts from November, 2015

Friends

Perhaps the most obvious, and certainly the most important, thing that I am grateful for in my life is friends.

Whether it's Thanksgiving dinner with good friends I have known for almost half my life (yikes!), dessert and puzzle gatherings and a mom's night out with Beatrix's school friends' families, impromptu dinner and pie, or calls and emails and Facebook messages over then holiday weekend, or even shopping at places where I know and like the owners, I feel like I have totally won in the friendship department.

And I think Beatrix, whose holiday weekend has been equally full of playdates and gatherings, feels the same way.

Quiet I

More to post later on what I've been grateful for the past few days.

Tonight I am focused on the fact that though my Myers-Brggs typo has always firmly been ENTJ (years ago, when I was first tested, Vijit said I was the most strong example he had ever seen), lately I seem to slide I when I am super-stressed.

Tonight, the thing I most loved was that I sat down to finally watch the movie Wild with my husband, and that I have shelves and shelves of books I could read. I feel like hiding for a week and only reading.

Paper (Tiger)

Image
It's a good thing I started this day of thankful thing because today would have been a good day to ignore it. Kind of blah and weighted down.

So I'm grasping a little and landed on a project that Beatrix and I actually did yesterday, making candleholders by putting maps and book pages around jars. But I think it turned out super-cute:


I also spent some time tonight fixing a project that has been weighing me down for a long time. The back hallway is covered with brown paper, and over time (and kids) some of it has been ripped or peeled up. So tonight I took some time to paste it all down again and repair some areas — let's hope it matches.

You're Lucky to Even Know Me, You're Lucky to Be Alive

Again, a lot of great parts to today.

But the high point was a house concert tonight.

It was Beatrix's first violin public performance; a few weeks back, her incredible teacher Kelsey asked if she could do it, and she wanted to, so she has been practicing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" (or Baa Baa Black Sheep, or the ABC song, depending on how you think of it) since then. It's been a hard few weeks of practice, and she literally only got a strong hold on it minutes before we left for the concert, when Patrick came up with the idea of videoing it and showing her what she was doing wrong. It was like a light bulb came on, and just in time too.

So an hour later, we're sitting on the living room of a quintessential Saint Anthony Park home, the kind I grew up knowing, with a strong architectural sense, full of mismatched mugs and flyers about peace rallies and arts events, picture everywhere, candles burning — a place I feel very at home in, and with an audience of int…

Happy Advent - Donuts

This time of year is always really hard for me. AND I am having a super-stressy deadline month.

So I am starting Happy Advent — hopefully I can stick with it. One thing I am happy for every day.

Today I am happy for donuts. Specifically, my friend Pablo hosting a donut party at Heartland, and getting to bring my daughter to it. For amazing sugar donuts (how could I have forgotten I like sugar donuts?) For a table full of Dans and one in particular. For spending time with and having an excellent conversation with my old friend Mischa and his adorable son Sasha. For remembering that I love Saint Paul and its hangouts, and that there are fantastic people in the Twin Cities. Thank you, Pablo!

Wrong Approach

I stayed up last night, unwilling to be torn from my Twitter feed, watching the situation unfold with the Black Lives Matter protests outside Minneapolis' 4th Precinct. I was amazed at the bravery and persistence of the protesters, and it takes some special kind of guts for CM Lisa Bender to say to an officer "If you want to shoot someone, shoot me."

I am all for supporting those who enforce our laws, but I think the police are wrong here, for any number of reasons.

But the main reason I think that this is a major error on the part of the MPD is because, for as long as I can remember, the police force has said that the Northside and that precinct is especially difficult to address, that they are doing the best that they can, but that its simply impossible to keep order there.

And now they are actively fighting against — assaulting with mace and rubber bullets — the very people who are proving that they give a damn about that community and their city and are willing to fi…

Paris

Image
Those of you who know me well know how obsessed I have been with "Hamilton" lately. Which, even before yesterday, has had me thinking about how America may have descended from England, but owes its freedom to France. A nation of immigrants, stemming from the best of these two great countries, and the hearts and souls of all over the world.

You'll also know then, that I disapprove of co-opting tragedy. I have a number of friends and acquaintances in Paris (mainly from my Jeune Lune days), and they are all safe. We're not in Paris until June. I can't even begin to comprehend the pain of those who were directly affected — I just can't.

But this tragedy in Paris affects us all in a very global way. And I don't know what to do or what to think, except to hold my daughter close.


Give to the Max Day 2015

I'm not the only one conflicted about Give to the Max Day, as I can tell from emails and posts from my colleagues. It's a confusing day, where you want to participate in the festival-like atmosphere, while making sure your donors understand, really understand, how much they mean to you and how that relationship is important.

This year it's earlier than usual — before the 15th of the month for the first time — and people aren't ready, or thinking about end of the year giving. And there's a lot of confusion about the site and how to give and fees and the like.

And I'm distracted by our own needs around here: a girl with tricky new orthodontia, a house that has to be finished, a dog (not ours) that needs a home, and other deadlines.

Still, I think it's important to think about giving and why you support the things that are important to you. Today's a good day to do that, because it's fun and easy and you'll feel good participating in the carnival. …

Why Our Words Have Meaning

Image
This post is one of the most cut-to-the-chase, insightful posts I have ever read (by my friend Nora, who is awesome, but the piece would be just as striking to me if I did not know her). Take a minute to read it. I'll wait.



Ok, you're back. Hopefully you're bowled over — I was, and I can identify with the experience because it happens to me All The Time. Maybe you've never thought of it that way before, and now you are, and that's cool too.

But hey, if you're one of the many (and I am sure there are some of these in the comments to her original post by now, I haven't looked because I have learned that my cardinal rule of life is "Don't read the comments"), who is still thinking "What's the big deal? He didn't even know he said anything. He was just trying to be nice" — I challenge you to reconsider. Hard.

Our words have meaning. Everything we say. When I present something for a client, what I say and how I say it is every b…

Tweet Grants

A little over a year ago, Patrick and I sponsored a project called #TweetSmallChange. Funded by our pocketbooks, it had a 48 hour submission process where people tweet-pitched their prospective projects (organizations, individual artists, it didn't matter). We got, I don't know, a little over 100 submissions and gave out ten $140 grants. (If you can't guess why the amount was $140, you should give up on Twitter, now.)

It was an incredible experiment. For one person, it was her first arts grant — and let's just go on to say she has gotten many more! We connected an artist with an arts gallery/shop. The other day I framed a set of prints another visual artist created. A local company learned the effectiveness of multiple tweets.

I was reminded of that tonight when I belatedly realized it was the final day for #deluxecares, a Tweet-an-Application program from the local Deluxe Company. I did shoot off a few tweets for clients, and took a quick look at the other submissions…

Halloween

Image
Last year, Beatrix began having very firm opinions on Halloween — on decorations, her costume, preferred candy, etc. Last year was also the first year she wanted to trick-or-treat with school friends, which was fine with us, because we had a blast going around to the neighborhoods around her school including the famous "Halloween Street."

This year, it multiplied. The kids formed a mini-pack, running from house to house as Dave coached them ("That one, there, with the orange lights on! Go!!") and the parents trailed behind, talking and laughing. Halloween Street was just as delightful as we remembered. Some houses gave out the coveted full-sized candy bars. And as we walked along in the late afternoon sun, kicking leaves, I was astounded how idyllic it was.

Later than night we hit a front-yard bonfire and told ghost stories, and then gathered at a house for delicious snacks and hot chocolate with horchata and more conversation. It was perfect!

(I have to say, thou…