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David Beard Posts

Suicide Peaks with the Tulips and Lilacs

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The drive back from the VFW Hall in central Minnesota was cold, and the snow falling in the dark January night covered the road. I couldn’t tell whether I was drifting too far across the median or too close to the shoulder until I crossed the rumble strips. I probably should have left earlier, but to be honest, it’s dark after 4 p.m. when you are so far north in winter.

Drinks were cheap and not very strong. The bartender didn’t know how to make a Manhattan. I needed to drive home, so I alternated each drink with a glass of water. My friend’s apartment was just blocks away, so she could walk, even if I didn’t offer her a ride. And if I offered, she’d never take it.

We’d met at 9:30, when the jazz trio took the stage (the stage was a wooden platform four inches higher off the ground than the rest of the bar). She and I weren’t particularly close. If we had been, I might not have made the trip. My wife had moved out that morning. It’d been a separation a long time coming, but it still wasn’t something I was ready to talk about. I needed a friend who was not so close that she knew the reason my life was changing. I needed a friend I could talk to about nearly anything except the separation. I wanted someone to drink with, without sharing why I needed a drink.

Rob Wittig and UMD Writing Studies students nominated for New Media Writing Prize

IWFW-LogoVisit “I Work for the Web” and learn about the New Media Writing Prize award nomination received by Rob Wittig and students in the Writing Studies majors and minors at UMD.

I am very proud of my students and colleagues.

They Aren’t Paid Enough to Be So Nice at This Time of Year: A Nod to Cashiers in the Holidays

Not the self-checkout at the Duluth Target, but I like it.

Not the self-checkout at the Duluth Target, but I like it

I was noting the new self-checkout at Target. I don’t like it. It feels like Wal-Mart, which is enough to make me never use it.  But beyond that irrational knee-jerk, it feels like Target would like to create a shopping experience in which I interact with no one whatsoever.  If I wanted that, I would shop at target.com. Which I do for things not carried at the Duluth Target. (I still can’t believe there will be only one Target in our area soon. Aldi will still draw me to Souptown, I guess.)

So I was really happy when I decided to try it today, and the coupon system stymied me, and a cashier walked over and hung out until I was happily rung through.  Human touch.

Book Culture in the Twin Ports

Poster of MN Bookstores

So today, I stopped by the Amazing Alonzo used bookshop. It was my second used bookstore adventure in two weeks, and it makes me think about book culture in the Twin Ports.

Nathan Gustavsson of Hermantown

Since the shooting in the Twin Cities at the Black Lives Matter protest, it was revealed that one of the suspects is from Hermantown.

Nearly 1,000 people marched to City Hall on Tuesday, less than a day after five protesters were shot near a Black Lives Matter demonstration, an apparently racially motivated attack that pushed Minneapolis into the national spotlight.

Minneapolis police said Tuesday that they have arrested three men in connection with the shooting. Allen Lawrence “Lance” Scarsella III, 23, was arrested in Bloomington. Sources said Nathan Gustavsson, 21, of Hermantown, and Daniel Macey, 26, of Pine City, were taken into custody after they turned themselves in. All three suspects are white. Earlier Tuesday, police arrested a 32-year-old Hispanic man in south Minneapolis, but he was later released because, police said, he was not at the scene of the shooting.

Minneapolis Star Tribune: 3 men in custody, 1 released in Minneapolis 4th Precinct protest shooting

A friend of mine in the Cities wanted to know how that revelation played out up here.  To be honest, his question was the first I’d heard.

Thoughts?

Art and Literature about the Environment

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One more post about art and literature this week … some poetry readings and some paintings about the environment, in different ways.

I attended the Wolf/Flow art opening, hosted by Stephanie Johnson and Angie Arden, at the Zeitgeist Arts gallery.The work shimmers with the energy of collaboration, with passion for the natural world, and with exploration of a variety of media. And, if you contributed a line to the community poem at Wolf/Flow 2, you may be happily surprised to see what became of it.

Duluth Arts in Perk Place and in the MIA

PerkPlace

I got lucky today and stopped by Perk Place at the time that Naomi “Sundog” Yaeger-Bischoff was completing her exhibition of recent photographs. Naomi operates the Duluth Daily Photo blog), where some of these works first appeared. (She is also the guiding vision behind the Budgeteer.) The picture above is of the artist and the support staff (daughter) who made the exhibit possible. Swing by and take a look.

Chatting with Artists

In the past few weeks, I have had too much coffee with artists.

Deer Woman: A Vignette, edited by Allie Vasquez and written by Elizabeth LaPensée featuring art by Jonathan Thunder. Winner of the Awesome Foundation Portland’s Peoples’ Choice Award.

Summer Music in Review

The summer is over, and there is so much music I heard that I have not yet written about here.

The most complicated performance of the summer, for me, was watching Tim Kaiser and Robot Rickshaw at Beaners. (All the videos that follow are not the performances I saw, but just tasters.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkk9cMJJjHA

It was a study in noise and the relationship between noise and music.

Duluth Huskies Make Their Best Decision Ever

“The Duluth Huskies would like to announce that Greg Culver will be the new General Manager, effective immediately. Congratulations Greg!”

Land of 10,000 Stories covers Duluth ad cycle

Milo AmundsenLocal tween entrepreneur on KARE-11 in the Twin Cities, in “12-year-old entrepreneur is pedaling profits.”

(Auto-starting embedded video after the jump.)

Lucie Amundsen – Drifts

Awesome creative writing from local creative type Lucie Amundsen.
Check it out!

Excerpt:

Drifts (from Portland Review)

It’s just past midnight and my 13-year-old is not back from her babysitting gig. Abbie’s a couple of hours late now and the parents’ cell rolls directly to voice mail. Likely it’s just drained of charge from the weather. It’s that cold. Days of Arctic fronts have animated our newscasters, who brandish their arms over the Minnesota map as they issue dire warnings. The air is more than raw, it’s dangerous. …

Plein Air: Painting and Chalk Drawing under Open Sky

I saw my friends Dana and Michelle yesterday, and they reminded me that this is one heckova week for art outdoors.

Arts fellowships and grants awarded to Duluth artists and regional organizations

The Arrowhead Regional Arts Council awarded the following grants and fellowships to the following applicants, many from Duluth. If you see these artists, congratulate them.

ARAC Call for Community Volunteers to Evaluate Grants

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I volunteer with the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council, and I can say surely and with enthusiasm that some of the best people I have met in Duluth I have met through ARAC, including grants manager Ashley Kulka, executive director Bob DeArmond, local artists and arts organizers across the seven-county Arrowhead region. If you have a desire to support the arts, doing this work is immensely awesome.

The Arrowhead Regional Arts Council is recruiting community members to be a part of ARAC’s Rural and Community Art Project and Career Development grant review panels. Each program has two panel meetings a year that require members to read between 15 and 30 applications per meeting. If you are interested in serving on either of these panels, contact the office at 218-722-0952, 800-569-8134, or info @ aracouncil.org. This is a great way to learn more about our regional arts community; the council and its programs; and the grant review process.