Showing posts from April, 2012

"My Charity"

I'm interested in people who talk about "my charity" — who have one particular organization that they identify with and focus all of their efforts on. Mostly, it has seemed like a Hollywood kind of thing to me — one more step in being famous, where you adopt a single cause and become known for that. To that end, it honestly seems a little fake. But at the same time, I have some friends who focus on one charity, and it seems to work for them and allow them to really concentrate their efforts. I was brought up differently, to give — to the best of your ability — to several different groups. Based on this, our giving patterns skew toward the arts, but also preservation, social justice, mental health, animals, etc. We also give a lot of our time, by sitting on boards, working with neighborhood groups, and helping out with caring for several neighborhood parks. I often push (or perhaps "educate about"?) these groups on social media. My giving is like my lifestyle —

A Nest of Humble Pie

Happy Earth Day! A while back, several of our friends purchased Nest thermostats. They were really excited by them, and I was a bunch of cold water on it. It's costly, and I did not think we would ever get a return on our investment. They then sent me to the Nest whitepaper, however, that looked at heat savings, with Minneapolis being one of the test markets — and it turns out that having the easy, teachable features that the thermostat does really does save money (according to the research). So we bit the bullet and went on the wait list for one; it arrived last week and Patrick installed it quickly and easily. So far, it does seem to be saving a lot of energy, which should result in some heat savings. It's easy to remember to turn down when you leave, and "notices" when you return and turns back on. I'm optimistic, and it's got me thinking of other ways to try to conserve. -- Patrick's take on it is here .

(Corporate) Places That Get It

Lest you think all I do on this blog is rant, I want to tell you about 2 experiences that stick in my mind. Two nights ago, we hit Punch Pizza (my love of which has been documented here greatly) for the half off tax day special. While we were standing in line, the pizza maker punched out a dough circle — he then took the outside of the dough and made it into a loopy bracelet, which he put around the arm of a delighted Beatrix. She's been playing with that dough for days — she says she prefers it to play-doh because it's "more real." Score one for Punch. Then today, heading home from picking up my car after repairs (ouch!), traffic on 394 was bad, so we stopped at the West End Noodles and Company. Say what you want about Noodles and Co, it's a big favorite in our family — cheap, fast, and something that everyone likes to eat (mac and cheese for Beatrix, truffle mac for me, salad for Patrick). And the food is always reasonably good. Tonight, my truffle mac seeme

Open Letter to Ikea

Dear Ikea: I love you. I really do. before you opened here, I used to go to Ikeas all over the country and haul back stuff. One of Patrick's and my first dates was at Ikea. I have spent countless hours showing friends around there, and encouraging them to get over their fear of you. Your items mix perfectly in our home with heirloom antiques. We're big fans. So why treat us so coldly? Just when Beatrix gets big enough for Smalland you reduce the time from 60 minutes to 45 — and though we can get 30 minutes extra as Ikea Family members, you are full every single time we go anyway. You reduced your hours of operation. Your Marketplace is, for all intents and purposes, closed for the forseeable future, so we can't get lightbulbs. The ones we do get, the extensive halogens, burn out in less than 40 hours of use. The Svelvik bed that we wanted, and saved up for, and borrowed a truck for? Out of stock until summer. Please stop making us sad.... the Gladhill/Rhone family EDIT

Simple Things

It's amazing how simple things make life so much easier. For the first time since I have owned the house, we added an effective door closer to the back screen door. No more door blowing open/cat getting out/other adventures. In celebration, I cleaned the shelf off above the sink. No more collections of things I don't know what else do do with. I also got rid of a lot of cookbooks, despite my good intentions to cook from them. As soon as I can find the right nail, I'm nailing in the piece of rogue trim I just stained. Now, if I can get a handle on the garden, I'll be set!

See Theatre!

I'm lucky enough to be involved with several local theatres that are doing INCREDIBLE work right now. I mean it, go out and see these shows. They are relatively inexpensive, and if you go out for a quick drink or bite to eat afterwards and talk about them, I guarantee your life will be changed! Werther and Lotte - by The MovingCompany, at the Lab Theatre through April 15. An incredibly poetic, beautiful, philosophical and inspirational show that you will be thinking and talking about for weeks to come. Head out to the Marvel Bar for cocktails or Toast for wine afterwards, or Chowgirls is doing a pop-up bar in their space on April 5. Cirque de la Loon - by Fools Productions, at the Lehr Theatre through April 15 Opened tonight (April Fool's Day!) and is a greta showcase for the work Fools Productions does best. Circus, "New Vaudeville" and music, with an extremely talented young cast that will blow you away! Then hit late night happy hour at Pazzaluna, Kincaid's