Tracing the Week Backward

So I’m in Starbucks on Woodland, and I want to talk about so much in the last week, but chronological order would be the least taxing on my brain, so that will be the choice.

I got here after seeing Guardians of the Galaxy at the DECC with a friend from UMD (Shane Courtland). We had lunch at Taste of Saigon, which has the coolest egg foo young in town. Shane filled me in about the Center for Ethics and Public Policy’s Fall Schedule, which is shaping up as an awesome university and community resource.

While I was vegging out at a great movie… (I love that this movie begins with the great loss at the core of nearly all comics stories — the death of a parent — and then the kid becomes an irresponsible jerk instead of a hero.) …Wildwoods was receiving a $500 donation from Boldt Company. It’s a gift that started with Boldt employee Jeff Kalm, Megan Kalm and their 3 children.

I woke, too, too early, this morning, because I was multitasking last night: talking with AFBat about the next issue of Minerva, sitting with Jamie and Steve and their amazing daughters for School of Rock at Movies in the Park… Jack Black is not so much my thing, but the way you can walk down, buy a snow cone, and see friends is awesome.

(The link for Steve takes you to Nerd Nite because he was a presenter, there. More on that, later.)

I had to scramble to the movie because I walked home from downtown after visiting the Spirit Room. Such a nice place. Friendly staff, an interesting mural, tasy cocktails, and we tried two tapas: the Sausage Sampler (local duck, pheasant & elk sausage · whole grain mustard · microgreens) and Seared Scallops (white truffle · wild mushroom cream). OMG, so tasty and so pleasant to share and to talk about as you share it. (One complaint: charging me $1 for an eighth of a baguette to dip in the wild mushroom cream after I have finished the two scallops on the tapas plate mostly shows me that someone is doing the math wrong — the negative impression on me for that kind of microcharge is probably worth however many cents are earned by the $1 for the bread.) But that’s niggling over an essentially strong experience, creeping toward awesome because the Friday afternoon bartender was awesome.

As I walked home, I saw some things worth mentioning: A protest…

And the construction of a Parklette (That’s a link to Pinterest images on Parklettes):

If anyone knows more about this project, let me know.

(I stopped at the Fetus, too. The used selection was fresh and exciting. Found some Stan Getz, a David Byrne/Fatboy Slim collaboration, one of Steve Martin’s banjo albums… Great deals. That reminds me, too: My friend Emily Jayne was performing at a private party on Friday, I think — if you know her, tell her she needs to perform at Amazing Grace or Beaners or somewhere, soon, so the rest of us can come listen.)

I was downtown because Ken Marunowski dropped me off. We had spent the day at Red Mug hanging his art. I am reminded of the commitment of artists when I realize that it took us six hours to hang the works. We were tired at the end of the project. Photos of what the Red Mug looks like with Marunowski in it, below.

I don’t get to Superior often; when I go, mostly, as a Nerd, I visit Globe News or recently, as a Fat Man, I visit A Dozen Excuses. But I needed a day with a friend. I had crashed with work (meeting with students online) on Thursday, and Wednesday was crazy: I completed two days at the Minnesota State Arts Board helping decide which projects would get, like, millions of dollars in state arts appropriation from the legacy amendment. The MSAB (and the ARAC, our regional agency) are looking for people to participate in this process, if you are interested.

After arguing about the nature of arts learning projects worth our tax money, I drove as fast as I could (about 40 miles an hour for the first hour — I forgot that the TC has rush hour) to return from the MSAB offices in St. Paul to attend Nerd Nite. Nerd Nite rocked. The three presenters were Clay Helberg (on Mobile Magic: How to do Amazing Things with your Mobile Device), Matthew Beckwell on Internet Radio (Running a station for fun but definitely not profit), and Steve Farnham on Oz (L Frank Baum and His Weird World). Photos below. A kid in the audience called it “Cool — like TED Talks without all the social justice.”

After Nerd Nite, I met friends for the $2 pizzas at the Canal Park Old Chicago. So tasty.

Inching ever further backward in my chronology… Having spent the better part of Sunday and all of Monday and Tuesday at MSAB, I admit I missed some of the action at B&N, which included Batman activities. Below are some of the pictures of the event:

I want to take a moment to nod toward the woman dressed at Nightwing, who came in costume on her day off because she is passionate about working with kids about cool things like Batman. She’s a recent alum of UMD, and she’s proof that if you let people cultivate their passions, they will give you far more than they take. That seems to be how Duluth works, to be honest — the community lets people cultivate their passions, and so each person enriches the community immensely.

If I go back much further than this, I will give birth to Benjamin Buttons. Just some reminders of all there is to love in our town.

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