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Showing posts from 2018

Leah

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Sitting at Sweeney's fighting over the last fry.

Sitting by the pool.

Having brunch with other friends.

Talking lazily late at night on Rebecca's porch.

Playing a crazy board game at the Chatterbox.

Watching our children play.

Going on a long walk.

Happy hour at Salut.

Hanging on Christmas at her place playing with the cats.

Commiserating over kids.

Arguing over school start times.

Hanging in a backyard party.

Planning to go up north for some crazy Finnish sledding party we never did go to.

Texting lazily back and forth.

Meeting at summer art fairs and festivals and the State Fair.

Sharing book notes.

Pizza Luce. More or less any impromptu dinner.

My kid wearing your kid's hand-me-downs.

Ice crea. Pizza. Rebecca's cabin. Beer. Heady conversations.

Children's Museum. Birthday parties in general.

White elephant parties.

May Day.

Just knowing you were there to text to.

F*ck, Leah, I miss you so much.

Doing Good - With Stuff

So, as you may have gathered, there's a lot of STUFF at my dad's house. Those who stopped by over the weekend were amazed at the sheer quality, and that's AFTER 8 weeks of organizing but BEFORE we have tackled the basement...

So this is where it has gone so far:
-  Bags and bags of clothes to Joseph's Coat, and to the Odd Couple coat drive (also going to Joseph's Coat). -  Food to the MLK food shelf. -  Glasses (so many glasses) to the Lions — they have a collection site at Lund's, but it's sneaky and you have to ask for it. -  Mugs to Simpson House. -  More (nicer) clothes to Mission Manduhai, for distribution in Mongolia this summer. -  A load of clothes and household goods picked up by the Epilepsy Foundation. -  Bags and bags of school supplies to Beatrix's school, plus tons of books to her teacher, and 10 boxes of history magazines to the Maker Space there. -  Bags and bags to Goodwill (I'm not crazy about Goodwill, but sometimes it's the o…

Girl Goes West

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My "So Saint Paul" status is a running joke among friends (to the point of my friend Debra saying "You're So Saint Paul your summer cabin is in Saint Paul," which is true....)

But my dad's place, since the early 1970s, has been on 41st and Sheridan, in the epicenter of Linden Hills — but since long before it was the "Linden Hills" you think of today, back in the days when the commercial node had a greasy spoon and a hardware store instead of high-end shops and restaurants, when Uptown was a bunch of neighborhood bars (even Figlio was, at heart, a neighborhood bar), and when it was basically just a cozy neighborhood. I had a Minneapolis library card through that address, and technically a bedroom at my dad's, though I really rarely stayed overnight. And I grew up walking down to Lake Harriet, and exploring antique shops at 50th and Xerxes, and eating chocolate mousse at the Calhoun Beach Club and ice cream sundaes at the Bridgeman's on Lake…

MEA Sunday

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Unlike the rest of Minnesota, we didn't go away for MEA weekend — too much to do at my dad's. But today, on a perfect fall day, we decided to head to Marine on Saint Croix for a mini day-trip.


We got to hike around the Marine Mill ruins, follow the stream a bit, and visit my friend Emily's jewel fo a shop, Highway North. We poked around the general store, watched the river, and kicked up leaves. We spent some magical time down at the shore of the river and in the boardwalk area walking up to the mini waterfall. I was able to think nostalgically of high school days spent at my friend Georgeanna's family compound at "the River." It was a lovely escape.

Then tonight, we were able to go to the Barebones show, which Beatrix had never attended (meaning it's been a long time since we have gone as well!) This year, my long-time friend Tara was the co-director, and was able to really evoke the magic that this annual ritual intrinsically possesses. My favorite part…

Fundraising Season

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By last Thursday, I realized I had been to three fundraisers already that week, four if you count my daughter's school Fun Run on Thursday afternoon (for the record, she ran 51 laps! And they raised over 20K for the school!)

Overachievers

Awhile back I posted about stretching my horizons...

I was cast in a web series called The Overachievers by Wonderlust Productions. a company run by Leah Cooper and Alan Berks, who I have known for years. These are people who I commiserated with when we each did our first 990s, who made sure I got invited to parties when I needed company as I was getting divorced, whose toaster oven I bought when they sold all their things and drove to Central America. They are awesome and incredible people, and although Wonderlust's mission is to cast community members alongside with professional actors, I really have no idea why on earth they decided to cast me.

But they did, and the process has been great. The web series is their first big foray into film, and between the direction, the fantastic cast, and their ace Director of Photography, Pete, it's been a wild and incredible ride. Earlier this week, we shot Episode 4, which is set in a theatre space. Today, so shooting out of order (as y…

Goodbye, West 14th St.

A hundred years ago, when I first started in theater administration, one of my first really big projects was to move the Cricket Theatre from Hennepin Center for the Arts to a space on 14th and Nicollet. The theatre was in an old vaudeville house (which I think is now a church), and the offices were around the corner on 14th Street.

As the Cricket compacted and then closed, Red Eye moved into the office space, and converted it into a black box theatre. And, over the years, I've seen a lot of great theatre in that space (and some clunkers too), by Red Eye and a number of other companies.

So it was sad to me when it was announced that that whole block was being torn down for yet more new apartments.

This weekend Red Eye had a rummage sale of sorts, where you could come take what was left for free or for a donation. I really felt like I had to go over and say goodbye, but in retrospect, I kind of wish I hadn't.

I grabbed a couple of things, but really it felt like being in an arc…

Flower Power

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Because it was Patrick's birthday weekend, we were able to have a little time just doing some fun things, including two excellent meals!

On Saturday, while Beatrix was at a Twins game with friends, we snagged a last-minute reservation to Hyacinth, which opened in mid-August in the old Golden Fig space. We love the idea of a chef-driven, small, New York style place within walking distance (oh, how we miss you, Zander!), and this did not disappoint. Our cocktails (he had the red wine punch, I did the Honey and Spices) were the perfect fall drinks. We had a fantastic delicate squash crostini and a shaved fall salad before each having a lovely pasta. It certainly lived up to our expectations, and I am excited to go back!

Tonight, for Patrick's birthday we went to In Bloom, the new restaurant at the Keg and Case — we did not have enough time to walk around and explore the market but hope to return soon! In Bloom is a great concept; everything is cooked over a big, open hearth, so y…

Dear All Men

Yes, the patriarchic myth that women are not "supposed" to like sex (or at least the "good girls" don't) — that you need to convince us to submit, and that us granting you access to our bodies is somehow supposed to be some kind of reward for your amazing masculine powers — yes, that's incredibly problematic, and confusing, and dangerous. We hate it too. (But sometimes, she whispers, we have no choice but to use that myth to protect ourselves when you spread rabid rumors that a girl is a slut, or "wants it," and is thus the kind of woman you can hurt and attack because she's "asking for it.")

But really, come on here. You're not stupid. You know that when a woman says "no," or starts crying during sex, or if you have to put your hand over her mouth to keep her from screaming, that this is no coy social game. You KNOW, at that point, that it's rape, and that you are crossing a boundary. And you know damn well that it…

Frankenstein

So, over fifteen years ago, my dad started volunteering at the Bakken Museum because he thought they should do more eon the history of the house. They said he was certainly welcome to look into it, but hey, they needed someone to run their Frankenstein exhibit and would he do that? So thus began his fascination with Frankenstein.

So I had really wanted to take him to Frankenstein: Playing with Fire that opened at the Guthrie last night. It's a remount of the production they premiered in 1988. I can only remember seeing on Guthrie show with my dad, but I replay thought he would like this one.

And of course, he died before he could see it.

So Patrick and I went last night for the opening, while Beatrix was at a birthday party.

Some thoughts (certainly NOT a review):

I remember the 1988 production being more sensational. But that may have been my mindset at the time, not the actual production. I was very young then. But this production felt far more intellectual.

We were literally su…

In/During Her Absence

I had noticed a post for this show pop up in my feed, and then my friend Krista, whose taste in theatre I trust implicitly, suggested I see it. So, last night instead of sorting through papers or choosing photos for the memorial, we headed over to the Minnesota Trapeze Center to see it.

The Center is devised as a circus class space, not a theatre, and so there were just a few chairs set up in the (very hot, remember it was 90 degrees yesterday) room. This suited the intimate sense of the show well, though. The set was simple — two static traps, and then marley and a few mats on the floor; a few other pieces of apparatus including a cyr wheel and a silk that was also briefly used for projection.

The piece itself was a mix between aerial work that was evocative without being overly flashy, two ground-based dancers who added a sense of tragic-clown levity (not overtly funny, but adding humor), and a sort of in-between character who added a bit of magic (especially in a bubble moment wher…

Pushing the Boundaries

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It's like the universe was trying to tell me something. First I read Present Over Perfect, and then I head a Ted talk, both on the same topic, how the first part of your life is all about building things up, and the second half is all about trimming them back.

This depressed me greatly. Not only do I not even want to be thinking about moving towards the end of my life, but I certainly don't want to be cutting back. I want to be trying new things, exploring places I have not gone yet, and pushing my own boundaries. I reject cutting back.

So, recently, I've been pushing myself to try new things.

My friend Bethany noticed that last year at the Fair, there were very few scrapbook entries, and the topics were reasonable vague ("Heritage," "Vacation," and "Special Occasion"). So she hosted several of us to get together for "Subversive Scrapbooking," the idea being that we would
"scrapbook up some State Fair entries that will make judge…

Wine, Women, and Song

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Other people get a mani-pedi when they need self-care (which actually does not sound like a half-bad idea....)

Me? I headed to Alexis Bailly Vineyard to see Nan and Sam and to enjoy an incredible performance of Dr. Falstaff and the Working Wives of Lake County by Mixed Precipitation, and I'm very glad for both.


Mixed Precipitation performances are fun shows, but even more than that, they are events. This particular one is a mash-up of Nicolai's opera The Merry Wives of Windsor, plus Springsteen, and delicious farm-to-table food tidbits. It's an incredibly enjoyable afternoon, with fantastic performances — the whole cast was great, but particular standouts to me were Naomi Karstad and Anna Hashizume as the wives, and Joni Griffith as a particularly operatic ranger/barmaid (with a turn on the violin as well). The band also was exceptionally strong this year, with some pre-show tributes to the Queen of Soul.

I'm still thinking, though, about the well-researched political …

My Dad

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I'm still reeling from losing my dad.

I didn't expect to quite so much. I was not a "daddy's girl." I have friends who have recently lost their fathers, women who were incredibly close to them, and my heart breaks in a thousand pieces for them.

My parents divorced when I was two. I saw my dad every Saturday, he always had Christmas Day because my family celebrated Christmas Eve, and went on trips with him (when he would go to conferences or the like) once or twice a year. Very occasionally I would stay over at his place.  That's not very much compared to divorced parents today, but actually pretty good for the 1970s. We still have a platform rocker around here somewhere that I can't get rid of because my mom told me that when I came home Saturday afternoons she would have to rock me for hours.

My dad was fiercely, stubbornly independent. He was so guarded, even with me. This has been made even more clear to me since he became ill and I stepped in to deal …

Our Lady of Peace

After a whirlwind summer of dealing with my dad's S4 lung cancer diagnosis in July, I secured him a bed at Our Lady of Peace Hospice this week.

I also set up a Caring Bridge site.

Honestly, there's not much more to say about it all. It sucks.

A Quiet Moment

Last night, at the Murphy election night party at Lake Monster, it had gotten late and Patrick and Beatrix decided they had better leave.

And they were leaving just as Erin Murphy and Erin Maye Quade were arriving. Patrick gave them hugs and told them to keep their chins up. And then Beatrix gave Erin Murphy a big hug — and Erin leaned over and looked her straight in the eye and said "I BELIEVE in you." And it was quiet for  minute at the edge of the parking lot and then the chants of "Erin, Erin!" started and they walked on to the event and Patrick and Beatrix went home and I stayed and cried.

Look, I'll rally and support Walz. He's not a bad guy. Compared to Johnson, he's basically a super-hero. But hear me out...

Last night, people once again said that it was fine to have a woman in the senate or as a representative. But when it came down to electing a woman as their actual leader, that they just couldn't do it. I heard so many people say that th…

NNO Photos

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Every year, at National Night Out, we get our photo strip taken at the old-time photo booth. The other nigh the event was really winding down, but we still got it done.

In the first photo, Beatrix looks a lot like me. In the third, she looks much more like Patrick.

Love the mixing of our genes.


Fringetastic!

So while Patrick worked 2 shows, I loaded up Beatrix and went Fringe-ing. I was afraid we would not get a chance to go this year, but everything fell in place to go today, and it was perfect.

We started at the new-this-yer "Family Fringe," though I would argue that most Fringe shows are family-friendly. Our friends (we originally met them when they billeted with us several years ago for their first Fringe) The Fourth Wall were performing Fruit Flies Like a Banana . They are WONDERFUL. I'm probably biased, but read Matthew Everett's review. Then, if you see nothing else this Fringe, make a point to check them out at the FamilY fringe, and maybe hit CanCan Wonderland or Flanneljax afterwards. 5 stars, for sure.

The next show, Not Fair, My Lady, was produced by my friend Colleen and so I've enjoyed watching the development process of this strong, feminist, "trample the patriarchy" piece. Go see it, and then you will realize how incredibly ironic it was tha…

Grateful (Again)

People I am extraordinarily grateful for right now:

-  The several people who have sent me notes (by mail) saying they are thinking of me.
-  Our friends Kate and Baxter and Kiernan, who had Beatrix overnight so we could get some work done and rest (and some time to weed the garden this morning).
-  Our friends Linda and Kim, who made us delicious food and flowers and kept Beatrix entertained all day Friday and Saturday.
-  Our friend Marta, who made delicious tacos that taught Beatrix to love them (I need that recipe!)
-  Having a lot of fun auditioning for Leah and Alan yesterday.
-  My friend Kim (different Kim - apparently Kims are good people!), who is getting my dad's end-of-life legal affairs in order.
-  Katie and Stephanie who provided playdates for Beatrix that allowed us to get other things done.
-  Laura who took a big batch of leftover clothes from a clothing exchange to Goodwill.
-  People that join us at pool parties!

I can't tell you how much all these things h…

Wedding Unboxing

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My beautiful, thoughtful, amazing sister-in-law is getting married in December to her rogue-ish handsome prince, and Beatrix and I are both in the wedding!

Last week, she sent us gorgeous wedding themed gift boxes.

Here's Beatrix unboxing:


Each one was carefully wrapped:


And personalized just for us:

Beatrix will be a "Glitter Girl" (we might not want to mention these plans to the venue's cleaning staff....)

Because my SIL is lovely, she took the time to thank each of us for being part of the wedding


A box full of glitter!

Beatrix wants to know if she can wear the tiara with her dress:


Our boxes together!

We are sooooooo excited to celebrate with Patrice and Rob!

Heirloom

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In the middle of all the crazy, it's important to just sit back and enjoy for  minute, even when you can't plan for it.

This afternoon I read that Heirloom was closing...tonight. And we still had a $100 gift card that we had kept saving for the "perfect date night."

So after a long day, we grabbed a reservation and brought Beatrix out to experience.

It was not the perfect night. They were slammed, and it took forever. We got the last of a lot of things.

But the important things is that we got in one last time, and we had a lovely dinner together as a family. These are the things that mean a lot.

We'll miss you, Heirloom!


Full STEAM Ahead!

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Ok, you are all used to me raving about my clients, and Circus Juventas in particular.

But do yourself a favor and see Steam, because:
-  It's the hardest-to-rig show that patrick has done, which means to you as an audience member that he tricks are amazing!
-  It's Beatrix's favorite show to date.
-  Not only are the tricks great, but it has great acting performances too!
-  Steampunk! The steps and costumes are also amazing!
-  You can see a Cirque du Soleil style show at a fraction of the price! (and there are a few tickets left for the next few weekends)
-  If you don't, you'll miss all my family's inside jokes for the rest of the year.

Seriously, you are going to love it!

When Constraint Makes Opportunity

My friend just posted a picture of "Date night at the best Patio in town (Sweeney's)," which led to an online discussion of that patio's merits.

I've lived across from Sweeney's for 25 years, and yes, I love that patio too.

But it wasn't always so great. It used to be basically a gravel expanse out the back door that led to a kind of ratty parking lot. No one really wanted to be out there, but hey, it was a patio, and it was Minnesota in the summer, so....

The neighbors banded together to complain. It was way too loud, it was open until close, people drinking spilled out onto the sidewalk and into neighbors' yards. Bones form chicken wings littered the gravel (until the neighborhood wildlife came to scoop them up). Yes, we all were aware that we had purchased homes by a bar (though technically this homes all predate the bar...). But we also had likewise expected Sweeney's to follow basic liquor licensing regulations, including crowd and noise cont…

A Girl with a Big Heart

Today was Beatrix's cardiologist visit. She was born with 2 small issues — a small (2mm) hole between chambers, and an open PDA, When she was 11 months old, part of this was solved by inserting a small coil, and the hole has closed, though she still has a small murmur. Today was her first visit in 5 years.

There was a scheduling snafu and she could not see her regular doctor, which was really upsetting because Dr. Dummer is leaving this month to move to California and this was our last visit with her. In the end, it was probably a good thing, because we got transferred to the care of Dr. Chu, who was also great. It's nice to have a new doctor that we know assigned to us with Dr. Dummer going, rather than just anyone that we would have gotten assigned to, and he even Facetimed her so we could say goodbye. The staff there is all fantastic.

The only remanning issue is that Beatrix still has a slightly enlarged aorta. As heart issues go, it's not a huge deal. She can participa…

Why a House is More then Structure

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I've recently encountered a rather toxic person whose views on the built environment could not be more different than my own. Which got me thinking about our house on Summit. When we inherited it, we knew we wanted to use it to do good. And as I sit and think of what this house has been able to host, I'm pretty impressed:

-  A friend working in China, home for the summer.
-  The mother of a friend, who wanted to spend more time with her family. In fact, that has happened four separate times (with separate people).
-  My aunt and her friend, swimming almost daily.
-  Two different sets of circus artists moving here from abroad, and several that have just been here for workshops.
-  A short film based on Dessa's spoken word art.
-  A fashion photoshoot.
-  A short film.
-  Two weddings.
-  Several other families here attending weddings.
-  A friend's mother here for the birth of their child.
-  People coming for school reunions.
-  A missionary here for part of the summe…

Iceland in a Nutshell

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1 July, 2018 Delta flight was 4 hours late due to mechanicals so we were wrecked. Supposed to be a 10pm departure but instead 2am, so we lost a ton of time and sleep (did get to see Lean on Pete starring Charlie Plummer on the plane though, so not all was lost).
Got car from Sixt, drove along the water road to AirBnB, which was located on a farm outside of Hella. Stopped at black sand beach (not THE one, but A One). The whole way we remarked on the beauty — the lava fields! The shoreline! The mountains! The steam coming from the grouns! The Icelandic horses!


Grabbed some snacks in Selfoss — Lion Bars! Hobnobs!Liked the big Kronan store there.
Found AirBnB — loved it. The cottage was pristine — so clean, so spacious, so well outfitted. Amazing to have this whole space to ourselves. Napped an hour, and made a quick dinner (we had brought food to save money). Beatrix got to see the horses and the lamb (and dog of course).


Around 8:00 we drove up to Guilfoss to see the falls and Geyser (…