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Video: Maria Bamford’s U of M Commencement Address

A self-proclaimed “crass, money-grubbing comedian from Duluth” gave the commencement address at the University of Minnesota on Sunday at Mariucci Arena. During the speech, Maria Bamford outlined her negotiation process with the university for her appearance fee, then donated half of it to a theater arts grad, Alyse Moné. The $5,000 check was made out to Sallie Mae, which holds one of Moné’s loan accounts. In a separate speech Bamford donated the other half of her fee to another student with loan debt.

The video is courtesy of the U of M, via City Pages.

Damage Boardshop Showdown Video

Duluth’s Damage Boardshop is one of 16 shops in the United States competing in the TransWorld Skateboarding Shop Showdown video contest on skateboarding.com. Over the past three weeks, TWS has posted videos by four shops each week. Damage’s video is part of round four.

The videos are bracketed against each other until the final four videos are determined through a blend of audience voting and analysis by TWS staff and pros from the sponsoring Mountain Dew skate team. To vote go to …
skateboarding.transworld.net/shop-showdown.

A Certain Kind of Nerd: Wrestling, Art, Politics, Nerds, Games

It’s Nerd High Culture in Duluth this week.

Duluth Trivia Board Game

Savers is a wonderful thing. For $1.99, I picked up a Duluth Trivia board game.

Some doozies:

1. What was on the roof of the former Goldfines building on Garfield Avenue?
2. What business is located there now? (It’s still there, I think.)
3. What movie starring Patty Duke was filmed at Glensheen?
4. For many years, the Duluth Zoo had the only living specimen in the US of one animal. Name that animal.

Mystery Photo #52: The homely mugs of Ella and Dave

This postcard photo of a couple perhaps from or visiting Duluth appears to have never been mailed, though it is addressed to Mrs. F. Welch of Eau Galle, Wis. On the back of the card, in the upper left corner, are presumably the names of the photo subjects, Ella and Dave. Their last name is faded out, but clearly the final three letters are s-o-n.

New operator will reopen Crabby Ol’ Bill’s by June

Starting in June, Duluthians and tourists will once again be able to get their mini doughnut fix out of a retired fishing vessel in Canal Park.

The fate of Crabby Ol’ Bill’s snack shack remained in question after Steve and Susan Smith announced they would be closing it back in December after five years running the business. Last week, the Duluth City Council approved a lease for developer Brian Forcier of Titanium Partners to operate the seasonal food stand based within the Nels J, an iconic boat that sits adjacent to the boardwalk near the North Pier Lighthouse.

Video Archive: Billy Jack Haynes and Adrian Adonis cut wrestling promos for 1987 Duluth appearances

The World Wrestling Federation brought its first card to Duluth 30 years ago — May 14, 1987. The main event featured Billy Jack Haynes losing a chain match to Hercules Hernandez. The syndicated TV program Superstars of Wrestling featured two promos for the Duluth Arena card tucked into the commercial breaks of local broadcasts. One featured Haynes (above) and another starred Adrian Adonis (below).

PDD Quiz: Lake Superior Zoo

 

Test your knowledge of the Lake Superior Zoo, its history and its inhabitants in this month’s quiz.  The next PDD Quiz, covering May 2017 headlines, will be published on May 28. Please send any question suggestions to Alison Klawiter at [email protected] by May 25.

A Lifetime of Vomit

There was a period of my life — the first 16 years — when I vomited with the frequency of a normal person. Maybe once every 17 months I’d feel sick, yack up my recently consumed proteins and resume a normal life. Over the most recent 28 years, however, my puking résumé is made up of just a pair of mega barfs.

Most people would be challenged to produce a list of the times they have vomited since the Reagan administration, but because my experience involves only two stories, I recall them keenly. So, for the sake of human digestive science … or whatever … I now share my hurling history.

It was Aug. 18, 1988, when I completed my final pre-adult barf. I was a high school sophomore, and preseason football practice was in full swing. I awoke in the wee hours of the morning with a groaning stomach, and soon I was staggering from my bedroom to the toilet, where I dropped to my knees for the first of seven sessions of violent retching. At some point in the middle of it, I called Coach Mooers to tell him I wouldn’t be practicing, but hoped I’d be back to normal for the scrimmages the next day.

Whatever hit me that morning was gone in a few hours, and indeed I traveled with the team to the Twin Cities metro-area scrimmages. After playing in the two abbreviated games, I accompanied my teammates on a trip to Valley Fair, where I rode all of the stomach-churningest rides. Indeed, I had recovered.

What I didn’t know at the time was how well I recovered. I would not vomit again for more than 26 years.

No city in America is growing so rapidly today as is Duluth

Missing Person: Larry Hoffman

The Duluth Police Department is seeking the public’s assistance in locating missing person Larry Alan Hoffman. Hoffman is a 60-year-old white male, 5-foot 3-inches tall, 200 lbs., has gray hair and green eyes. He was last seen May 5. There is urgency in finding him to ensure he takes his prescribed medications. The DPD encourages anyone who sees Hoffman or knows of his whereabouts to call 911.

Selective Focus: Annie Schweiger

Annie Schweiger first achieved PDD fame when she won the People’s Choice Award at this year’s Duluth Art Institute Member Show. Here, she shows some more of her work and talks about the balance of work projects, personal projects, illustration and design.

A.S.: By day I’m a graphic designer and at night I work on illustrations. I mostly work with graphite and watercolor but I’ve been experimenting with digital illustration on a Wacom tablet in Adobe Photoshop.

Where in Duluth?

“Let’s head over there. There’s a spectacular view from that bench.”

(David moves to bench. Squints. Not very much view. Takes photo from bench, straight ahead.)

Where were we?

Ingeborg von Agassiz launches Kickstarter to fund debut album

Duluth’s Emma Rustan has launched a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter to raise funds for a debut album under her musical pseudonym Ingeborg von Agassiz.

The song used in the video is “Oh, What a Morning,” one of ten tracks to be featured on the album. The music has already been recorded by Rustan and mixed by Adam Krinsky at Bellows Studio in St. Paul. The $6,000 Kickstarter campaign seeks to fund the mixing, mastering, artwork and replication.

Appreciating a Recent Movie at Zinema 2

I forget how lucky we are to have the locally operated Zinema, especially on its $5 days. Last night I saw Colossal, a movie starring and co-produced by Anne Hathaway. (Spoilers)

I’ve seen nearly every Godzilla movie, so the idea that every morning, when Gloria (Hathaway) is hung over, a Kaiju Monster attacks Seoul seemed interesting — a metaphor for the unintended consequences of alcoholism, I figured. Pretty straightforward, low-brain energy attempt to be deep, but with Kaiju!

The opening scene shows Gloria’s boyfriend throwing her out, telling her he can’t be with her when she’s out of control like this. It’s designed to communicate to the audience: Gloria’s addiction is the problem.