Mystery

May 22, 2014 § 2 Comments

I passed by these balls dumped on the side of the road this morning and then again tonight. Five or six more were nearby along the sidewalk, but those were gone this evening. I smell a story behind these shenanigans, and I may have to investigate further tomorrow.

Mystery

Litter-acy

February 7, 2014 § Leave a comment

Visitors to our fair city always comment on its cleanliness.

That bags of trash are hidden neatly in the back rather than piled in front of storefronts and apartment buildings and homes.

That medians are filled with wildflowers instead of old mattresses and beer cans and empty cereal boxes.

That citizens toss their Starbucks lids into trash receptacles rather than into the bushes.

But the reality is we aren’t perfect. No matter how hard we try, trash falls out of bags on the way to the dumpster, wind blows papers out of our hands, doughnuts fall out of our backpacks, and the Jonses accidentally spill full garbage bags from their speeding pickup.

Sure it’s trash, but I do like that there is something colorful to catch your eye during the longest, coldest winter in memory. And I’ll gladly pick up other people’s messes come spring.

Plastic (green)

Plastic (green)

Mott's

Mott’s

Ruffles

Ruffles

Plastic (orange)

Plastic (orange)

Rubber

Rubber

Tootsie

Tootsie

Annie's

Annie’s

Godiva

Godiva

Fifteen Questions I Bet You Wish Someone Would Ask You

November 14, 2013 § 12 Comments

I’ve been going through old files lately, and fun stuff keeps popping up. Today I found a piece of paper with a bunch of questions written on it. I’m assuming they are questions I created, but I’m not sure of their original purpose. Questions for prospective boyfriends? To ask at a networking event? To ask my family or complete strangers?

Whatever the intent, here they are. Feel free to answer one or two or all. See some of my answers following the list.

  1. A stray, sweet chocolate lab comes to your door. You let him in, give him a bath, feed him. You love him. What do you name him?
  2. What is your first memory?
  3. What don’t you have that everyone else has?
  4. What do you have that no one else has?
  5. What small town (less than 5,000 people) would you live in if you could?
  6. If you could do anything regardless of pay, skills, and education, what would you do?
  7. The phone rings. Anyone can be on the other line. The only caveat is it needs to be someone you’ve lost touch with. Who do you hope is calling?
  8. What song do you often listen to that you rarely or never hear on the radio?
  9. What famous individual have you been told that you look like by more than one person?
  10. What was your favorite toy as a child?
  11. What is the most annoying thing the person you spend the most time with  does every day?
  12. What have you done today to take care of the environment?
  13. Regardless of the type of day you’ve had, what three things occurred today that made you happy?
  14. What surprises do you find when you Google your name?
  15. What is your favorite photo of yourself?

It’s late and I’m tired, so I only answered a couple of these (the easiest): 

3. A microwave

8. A few of my favorites, but there are more: “The Swimming Song” by Loudon Wainwright III, “Kingpin” by Wilco, “Picture Book” by The Kinks, “Bullet” by Mason Jennings

15. Probably not the best photo of me, but it makes me laugh:

Playing chicken

Playing chicken

Somewhere, a Bride and Groom Weep

November 10, 2013 § 7 Comments

The writer’s gift: a discarded or dropped note, drawing, or letter.

I’ll pick up almost any paper lying on the ground — a folded, face-down, wadded-up treasure.

I’ve found shopping lists, budgets, little love notes, and children’s drawings and homework. Some boring, some not, but all a map of a life, some journey that may seem minuscule but is really a chapter in a larger story. I imagine a shopping list for ingredients to create a meal for a new girlfriend, a budget to determine how to finance a move overseas, a love note tossed aside, cascading one person into freedom and another into despair.

I’d forgotten about the note I’d found this summer. I’d tucked it away in a large stack of paperwork that I tackled earlier today. The worn and wrinkled note is written on both sides. A to-do list.

Found: An imagined life

Found: An imagined life

Based on the note’s contents, I conclude:

  • The writer is male.
  • He’s a law student, based on a reference to the nearby law school and numerous tasks related to obtaining more money.
  • He’s a photographer on the side — several items refer to getting in touch with models at a nearby wedding shop, going to a camera store, and hitting up his friend Dave for a wedding (to photograph, I presume).

Based on my conclusions, I imagine:

  • He’s back at school but barely making payments, wondering why he’s there instead of focusing on photography.
  • He’s a horrible photographer and should stay in law school.
  • His friend Dave reluctantly let him photograph his wedding in September, and the pictures were tragically unfocused and cold. The bride and groom are devastated and out $2,000, which is helping pay for one semester of Comparative and International Patent Law (and required texts).

Jaurnte (Art in June): Day Twenty-Nine

June 29, 2013 § 2 Comments

My art day:

3:01 p.m.: Found Objects at Form + Content

Three artists took old, found objects and re-fashioned them in a novel way.

Doohickey

Doohickey

Old outhouse door, seats, wall

Old outhouse door, seats, wall

The Measure of Things -- made from rulers, scales, gauges, and other measurement tools

The Measure of Things — made from rulers, scales, gauges, and other measurement tools

3:23 p.m.: Short walk around the Warehouse District

Commutator Foundry Co. building

Commutator Foundry Co. building

Veronique Wantz Gallery

Veronique Wantz Gallery

The Foundry Home Goods window

The Foundry Home Goods window

3:54 p.m.: Heart and Soul at Icebox Gallery

No photos to share, just a recommendation to visit the current exhibit featuring a photography retrospective from Icebox’s 25 years of shows. My favorites? Anything by Alec Soth, Will Agar, Chris Faust, Flo Fox, and Howard Christopherson.

Christopherson runs the gallery and framing studio, I believe, and his photos are beautiful. He’s also a really nice guy. I didn’t know it was him at the time, but we spoke briefly while I looked around — kind, witty, and obviously talented.

8:00 p.m.: Story City presents ESCAPE at Paper Darts Pop-Up

Another packed house at the Paper Darts Pop-Up, this time for Story City to host its event — stories of escape told in a Moth-like fashion (seven minutes, no notes, all true). Added twist? Graphic artists drew each story as it unfolded, projecting the animations brightly on the wall for all to see. Abundant laughter and gasps — stories of bad dates with hairy men, the pain of being the only girl to wear a size 59 swimsuit in gym class, growing up with the Sopranos, pottery artist stalkers in the south of France, waking up to your foot bones being sawed in the middle of surgery (admittedly, this one made me queasy), and a girlfriend’s jealous buffalo.

Story City’s theme next month is RANT. Not sure of the location, but its Web site will provide updates.

Standing-room only at the pop-up

Standing-room only at the pop-up

Found: In a St. Paul Alley

December 24, 2012 § Leave a comment

Found: In a St. Paul Alley

May Sunshine and Amber spend a blissful holiday together

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