Showing posts from April, 2019

You Betcha!

Recently, I helped a new friend set up her Quickbooks. She has a great food subscription box company called the You Betcha! Box, and as a thank you, she sent me one!

Its delivery was actually a little anticlimactic; I came home to find the subscription box, along with a box containing some new Danskos I had ordered, placed squarely in the path of a mini-waterfall off of our porch roof. Thank you, substitute mail dude (our regular guys incredibly careful, so I know it was not him!)

I had seen some of Katie's other boxes while I was there working on Quickbooks, but know this would be the best one as soon as I opened it:

First there was some great information about the small Minnesota vendors in the box, plus a coupon for a tour of a distillery in Carver (yum):. Years ago, I worked with an arts consortium forming in Carver, so I am excited to head out there and see what they have been up to! Plus, I love the focus on music education:

Then we got to the snacks, some great, distinctive…

The Rest of New York

My friend Laura writes amazing travel blog posts and I always aspire to be more like her in that. But now it's been almost 2 weeks since we have been home, and I had better get my thoughts about New York down right quick!

We got to see my friend Dawn's lovely apartment (and she made us breakfast). I'm so thrilled as to where she is in her life!

We say the amazing White Noise by Suzan-Lori Parks at the Public (my first show at the Public!). It was a little too old, likely for Beatrix, but honestly riveting for all of us. And we ran into our neighbor, Carol, and her fantastic daughter Tiffany, a photographer who lives in New York. We were so busy chatting to them after the show that we stuck around forever — just long enough to see David Diggs come out and tell him what a mind-blowing job he had done! He was charming and gracious and very quiet. (Want to know more? Studio 360 has a new piece on it that ran tonight!)

We stopped in to Steamy Hallows, a Harry Potter pop-up coff…

There Is Power in the Union

Living in London in 1987.

Listening to Billy Bragg.

Feeling like only someone who felt like that about that about Thatcher could understand how I felt about Reagan.

Walking up the stairs from the Tube stop and having my friend Fran say "I don't know how someone could break up with you because they thought you were 'too mainstream.'"

Being in a small club (Dingwalls? The Hackney Empire? Somewhere in Highgate? I don't know...) seeing Billy Bragg live for the first time.

Wearing out my live cassette tape of "Talking with the Taxman About Poetry" while drinking cheap wine from the corner store.

Understanding what it meant to be part of a force. Finding myself.

Feeling the importance of a union now even more that I understand it better (hat tip to SEIU).

Tonight seeing Billy Bragg at the Fine Line was part of all that, just *a few* years later.

Magic. Thank you


Spoiler: There Was an Intermission

I interrupt my blog travelogue to talk about the Amanda Palmer concert last night, a 4-hour epic event that reminded me that compassion and empathy are complicated, and often come from where you least expect it — and simultaneously don't come from where you might.

The scene: a packed O'Shaughnessy Auditorium. The mostly female, overwhelmingly white, audience is varied in age from goth teens to stately grandmothers. The lobby has tables from Planned Parenthood to Amanda's merchants and Patreon tables. Everyone knows they are here for something extraordinary.

And extraordinary it is. The concert is not long because Amanda *Fucking* Palmer plays thousands of songs. It's long because each song is long (6-11 minutes), and because for every song, she sets the tone by telling the story of how it came about. Each story is a nautilus of a piece that winds back around itself and leads you somewhere unexpected. It's an incredible look into how they were written and how her t…

Beaches to Broadway

Normally, when we are in New York, we have just a short time so decide to stay in Midtown. This time, though we had an equally short time, we decided to stay with our friends Julie and Neil in Brooklyn and prioritize together time, and I'm so glad we did!

(This is where I admit I had been to Brooklyn just once before in my life, to go to Julie's, and I had generally looked down on it as Not Manhattan and also Way Too Hipster. This trip was a great chance to eliminate those stereotypes.)

When we arrived Thursday, the construction in LaGuardia was causing a huge transportation backup; you had to take a shuttle, which took well over 45 minute, just to get to the taxi stand, which was still better than a 90 minute wait and over $100 fee for Lyft. So we did not get to Julie's until about 7:30, but we got delicious Thai food and then got ice cream at Ample Hills and got a little driving tour of Brooklyn.

Friday we got kind of a later start and took the subway in to go to the Gugge…

Moon Over Miami

Most people are surprised that I really like Miami. I'm not sure why — maybe they associate it only with the party scene, or with the seemingly endless number of famous-in-their-own-mind Instagrammers taking nonstop beach shots as they walk in the sand in a bikini and stilettos, or with a "lack of culture."

But what I see when I think of Miami is a gorgeous beach, where I can lay in a beach chair and watch Beatrix play in the waves in her mermaid tail. Where we can get a few fancy drinks and tacos and sit in a cabana by our rooftop pool. Where we can walk in the warmth along Ocean Avenue and take in the Deco buildings. Where we can eat outside in pedestrian-mall streets with glowing lanterns and where I can eat all the seafood I want, or Cuban food in a courtyard, or even just have a nutella croissant and strong Italian coffee for breakfast while still being outside in the warmth. Where even the chain stores like Lush seem somehow more interesting, and where I can walk t…

Vacation Bookends

Today, when Beatrix was at "sharing time" at school, we were surprised that some of the things she talked about were not just the things we did on vacation, but things here at home too.

For instance, she talked about how she got her hair cut the day before we left. But hey, our hair person is pretty awesome!

And hey, I eased into spring break by attending Bob Mould at the Turf Club with my awesome friend Katharine, who regularly encourages me to stretch my boundaries. It had been years since I had been to the Turf Club! But there we were. lining up as the doors opened, so we could be sure to get a table and to see the opening act — an all-female trio called Last Import that met at She Rock and who were so much fun to watch.

And then Bob Mould came on and he was fantastic! I don't think I've actually seen him play since I was technically legal to go into a bar to do so (hint: that's a long time). But he (along with his drummer and bass) were great — really energet…