Showing posts from October, 2019

Halloween is Coming!

Today the dogs went to get groomed and came back in fancy Halloween costumes. We have the best groomer in Tami ever, and the best part is that she does it at her place and so the dogs are relaxed and have fun (let me know if you want her info!) After Beatrix's cast party, we also headed to a "Trunk-or-Treat" at Gloria Dei. Beatrix created her "cupcake queen" costume on the fly: Then, at Beatrix's book club, they carved pumpkins: So I'm feeling a little more ready for the holiday now....

Die Zauberflöte

Beatrix has just finished the performance run for The Magic Flute (Reimagined) at SPA, her first middle school show. The performances, design, and direction were all fantastic, and she had an amazing time as being in it. It makes me a little verklempt , thinking of my own time doing theatre at SPA (and at other places at that time, like TCITY). Watching the hallway for Mr. Rosewall's hints about what the musical would be, hours of rehearsals, nights working on the set with friends and then hitting Green Mill or Acropol Inn, getting together on the weekends and sharing inside jokes about the show with way to many people to tag here! Those were incredibly magic times in my life, and I feel so happy for Beatrix that she is getting a chance to experience that (though in far more posh surroundings than I did, that new theatre facility is amazing!) It also made me think about the Magic Flute productions at Jeune Lune, after Beatrix asked me how many times I had seen the opera and I s

More Happy Hour Reviews

This week, Beatrix has had dress and tech rehearsals for her show ( The Magic Flute Reimagined , plays this Fri and Sat for FREE at SPA!), so Patrick and I have been able to hit some happy hours. We've been picking places we don't get to much, but not quite trendy new places. Last night we tried Bap and Chicken, over by the Summit house on Grand, though we did have to walk past the still-empty Sixth Chamber site to get there which was sad. Bap and Chicken is in the old Grand Shanghai space, a poppy, Korean fried chicken and rice/noodle bowl place with a lot of hard edges, loud-ish music, and friendly, perky staff. It's best known for chicken, of course, and I'm sure I did it a disservice by not having it but I went with a tofu bowl in "build your own bap." It was good but not earth-shattering. Patrick had wings and bulgogi tacos, which he enjoyed. Even at happy hour prices it added up kind of fast, so I give it a firm "ok but did not knock my socks of

Make Us an Offer We Can't Refuse

So today we did something that may seem crazy. We took a couple of hours that we really don't have – time we could have spent working, or on a date (maybe finally seeing Downton Abbey ), or out for a drink with one of YOU reading this – and spent it cleaning the house at 41st and Sheridan. Not deep cleaning, but at least vacuuming and dusting and generally making somewhat presentable. It seems nuts to do that, you say – after all, it's just likely to be demo'd. Who cares how clean it is inside? But that's just the thing. I still feel a pretty strong amount of guilt about the things I did not do to make this house better earlier. I want this house to know it was loved and cared about, and that we're sorry that not more was done earlier to take care of it. Yes, it's just going to be torn down. But it should go with some amount of dignity. The house is empty, and will go on the market pretty soon (and I mean it when I say this is your big chance to get on it

MEA Done Right

For the not in Minnesota, this weekend is MEA, the annual teacher's convention when everyone gets 2 days off school. Many families use the 4-day weekend for vacation, but Beatrix had circus, so we decided to stay closer to home so she would not miss anything. Thursday we did a Harry Potter themed puzzle room at Trapped Puzzle Rooms. It was a ton of fun – the 3rd one we've done since August (if you include Cabal ). We solved it (with a little extra time) and then celebrated with a quick dinner at Smack Shack. Seafood plus a puzzle room = win! Yesterday we did go on a trip – a day trip to Wisconsin! We stopped for bagels at a cute place in Hudson, then spent the morning at various thrift stores and vintage places in River Falls. They have a ton of fun places, from cheap thrift stores benefitting hospice care and battered women to upcycle places (also a fantastic cupcake place). The high point, though, was stopping to see our friends James and Heather at Fox Den Books . We


Double posting because there's now a Dunkin' (Donuts) in my hood! To be far there's been one up on Rice Street for a couple of years, but it's been too long a haul to get there. I think this one is ... overwhelmed (it just open last Wednesday or Thursday). The cases looked like the Zombie Donut Apocalypse had hit, and there were a good 20+ twitchy people waiting for their coffee orders. But we got the donuts we wanted, and Beatrix got her pumpkin coffee something, and we are all thrilled. Welcome, Dunkin! PS: I still prefer a local coffeeshop any day for coffee and the donuts at Bogart's are better. But it's nice to have a DD, and makes me feel like my college days are not so far away (even though they are).

Good Day, Even Better Night

Yesterday I was lucky enough to host large clothing exchanges for two very different online groups I am part of. While I LOVE clothing exchanges (they are basically how I buy all my clothes now) for their thrift and ingenuity, what I really love is having face time IRL with the people I know online. They are wonderful and supportive people. It made the snow showers much more tolerable! In between swaps, Patrick and I ran out and grabbed a drink at Waldmann Brewing with our friends Peg and Troy (and their daughter Natalie, who is Beatrix's friend). We all have Crafttapped, so it was a great way to get together and have a free beer! Patrick and I tried out Monkey Palace, a new restaurant on Snelling that bills itself as a "Tandoori Restaurant and Alehouse" that is in soft open this week. Their beer list was a little slim for an "alehouse," but they also had a great looking cocktail list. We tried several of their bar snacks: veggie samosa, chicken wings, curri


I can't say much about Cabal by Walking Shadow Theatre Company , because it would ruin the experience for you. Besides, I learned from talking to a friend this weekend that *perhaps* I am more into immersive theatre than the average bear. But I can say that if you are interested in a very different dramatic experience — one that's part puzzle room and part live theatre, where the audience is limited to 10 people and it's important that you work all together — then you should check out Cabal. It's currently on an open-ended run, but like all magic, it could disappear quickly.

Tradition, Tradition, New

We started today with our favorite "fall is here" tradition — a brunch event watching the Twin Cities Marathon. My friend Judy owned a house on Summit one mile form the finish line, and always held a Marathon party. One of my earliest memories from living in my neighborhood was attending and watching Paul Wellstone hand out cups of water to the runners. They would stop, amazed that their senator was handing out water, and he would wave them on saying "Go! Go! You're so close to the end!" When Judy passed on her son David and his wife Amber took over the house and the party. Those two do that home's traction so proud. The Marathon party is a great chance to get together with friends, to be outside on a beautiful day, and to get teary watching amazing runners do their best. I'm pretty sure Patrick married me because of the Marathon parties. After  quick stop at my friend Bethany's clothing exchange, we headed out to the open house at Warner Nature

My Posts - and Other People

Patrick's friend Colin (who I did not even know had seen my blog!) wrote an interesting piece inspired by it about identity, self-esteem and self-compassion . Which is exactly why I started this blog, to be able to have discussions online about topics in a larger way that social media can often allow (well, and to provide my dad with updates and kid pictures, but that purpose is defunct). I'm pleased and honored. I found Colin's post very reflective and thought-provoking. Still, I would challenge him (and you, dear reader) to take it even one step farther. Colin writes about how identity leads to self-esteem and then hopefully to self-compassion, in a kind of individual hero's/heroine's (what's the they version?) journey. And in many ways he's very right: This final aspect is interesting as it relates to one's authenticity and being "your true self" - this is what really interests me and is what links back to personal identity. Ou

Holding Hope

Lest you think I am a curmudgeon who holds new-ish restaurants to impossibly high standards, let me discuss our list to Hope Breakfast Bar , which just opened last week, for Patrick's birthday tonight (they serve breakfast all day). Hope just opened last week, and their cocktail menu debuted tonight. Hope is located in former Saint Paul Fire Station #5, the city's oldest fire station that the neighborhood worked HARD to keep, despite every developer in town saying it could not be done. it's charming and bright and lively; all the staff seems happy to be there, and they have already developed some regulars. It's a slightly Southern-inspired breakfast menu, a little meat-heavy, but still plenty that I could eat. Patrick had the shrimp and grits, which he loved and felt they lived up to NOLA standards. Beatrix had the waffle, with a whole berry in custard cream topping (served on the side, so you can mix it up how you like. I went with the theory of measuring a place