Showing posts from February, 2014

Unleash the Hounds!

I've long wanted to be an Art Hound, but have never signed up to do it. Part of it was that so much of what I see is stuff that I am involved with, part of it was actually planning ahead to see something I'm not involved with, part of it sheer inertia. But I'm excited to see Gidion's Knot at Pillsbury House (and it's pay-what-you-can, and there's free childcare, and even an art installation in the space). So I pitched it to the friendly hounds, and boom, there I was in the deluxe MPR studios, recording away. Chris Roberts was a blast to hang out with and talk to, and the other Hounds this week have some fantastic plans, so come on…. Unleash those hounds!

Putting My Money Where My Market Is

I've been a co-op member for a long time. When I first moved back to the Twin Cities, I was a proud Hampden Park Co-op working member. Once or twice a month we would go in, stock the shelves, fill coolers, cut and package cheese, and do whatever needed to be done. It felt kind of like summer camp at Widji — a whole bunch of earthy crunchy types working together to make something happen. In the 1990s, the corner of Selby and Dale was a bleak, empty lot. Various developers floated less and less attractive plans for the site, chastising the community for not falling over themselves to welcome an Un-Bank, a video chain, or fast food. We were told that spot would never be developed, that the neighborhood was too bad. We were told we needed to vacate streets and accept poor quality construction. We, as a neighborhood, said "No." It was before the term "food desert" came into common use, but there weren't exactly a plethora of shopping options available. I work


I'm feeling very lucky tonight about the people in my life. I just got back from a wonderful book club. My book club, the WAMBATS, has been meeting for almost 20 years. We have wonderful meetings, where I'm afraid we discuss the book less than we should, but only because we have so much to catch up on with each other. Our friendships are deep and real, and these wonderful women know me so well. Last night, we went to our friends Sarah and Kevin's for a Chinese New Year party. Our children are to the age where they can amuse themselves, so we can have all sorts of discussions, ranging from the Oxford comma to everyone's seminal movie. Do you ever leave a party feeling wonderfully refreshed and invigorated? Already this month I've had some fascinating lunches, wonderful dinners with other sets of friends, a wine and Girl Scout cookie pairing with another array of impressive women, and even some good Facebook exchanges. I don't know what I've done to have

Girl Scout Cookies

This is the first year Beatrix has been a Daisy. I wasn't a Girl Scout — my family tradition is Camp Fire Girls — but I have really appreciated the emphasis on friendship and values in her troupe. It's a nice contrast to her other extracurriculars (circus, ballet, violin, Spanish). And of course, right now is Girl Scout Cookie time! I was unprepared, actually, for the various vituperative cookie controversies. Most offensive is "CookieCott," which wants us to boycott Girl Scout cookie sales because the Girl Scouts cite Wendy Davis and Kathleen Sebelius (among others including Hillary Clinton, Betty Freidan, Amnesty International, and NOW) as worthy role models. Personally, if my daughter grows up to be the kind of woman that exemplifies those principles, I will be immensely proud. If anything, it makes me realize how very good the Girl Scouts could be for my daughter, and what kind of values they exemplify. (As an aside, a competing group offers a badge for

Mom Wins

In the case of work/life balance, I'm at best a C-student. Between work, friends, the house, being a mom and a wife, and everything else, I come up short in at least one area daily. But tonight — just tonight — I am reveling in great mom-successes. (Shh, I know this is at the detriment of everything else. But humor me for now.) Beatrix turned 6 this weekend and was thrilled with her birthday weekend. We somehow pulled off a "Frozen" party (more on that later), and spent the day itself at Como Zoo and Conservatory, a Finnish cultural event at Landmark Center, and at Rainforest Cafe for dinner (her pick, obviously). I can't believe she's 6. We received word that her portfolio review was successful and qualified her for Gifted and Talented services. We have not made up our minds if we'll send her to the G&T school yet (if we even get in), but we've applied and at least that door is open. She had African-American Parent Involvement Day today, a

How a Sassy Nordic Girl Outflanked the Mouse

If I wasn't trying to throw a "Frozen" birthday party for a 6-year-old this weekend, I would be very amused about how the movie has unhinged the normally extremely-customer-overaware Disney empire. This is a company who plans every part of your experience down to the last moment, who is a genius at cross-marketing, who runs their amusement parks like a cross between a Swiss watch and a German rail line — and they were completely unready for what a hit "Frozen" has become. (granted, the experience is likely even more intense here in Minnesota, where we all are slightly Nordic and it does feel like some wicked enchantment has frozen our land in perpetual winter). But I digress… After all, "Frozen" is originally based on one of Andersen's fairytale " The Snow Queen ." As these things go, it's not in the Top Ten canon of princess stories, though it's no " The Girl Who Trod on a Loaf " either. It languished in producti