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I Need to Move

April 4, 2014

I need to move someplace where they don’t have televised weather coverage. Preferably someplace with ideal weather year-round, and in a perfect world, someplace nearly deserted with my nearest neighbors blocks/miles away instead of yards away.

I know that winter storms deserve coverage; they’re hazardous and can potentially be deadly, and I would agree that television news is an excellent method of getting critical information to the largest group of people but when is enough enough?

Fortunate enough to not have to leave the house this morning, I turned on a local news station and found nearly non-stop coverage on this latest winter storm. The station’s storm coverage consisted of a meteorologist in the studio providing updates and a meteorologist outside on the building’s roof providing very similar updates only standing in the wind and snow. They had portentous images of summer lounge furniture up on that very same roof covered in large amounts of snow to try and show us – - I can only guess – - that they meant business with their coverage and weren’t making this storm up and that we could, in fact, trust the large amounts of snow we were seeing on our own outdoor furniture. They had a reporter standing outside a local business that usually opens for the season today and another reporter riding along in the station’s “Mobile Weather Watcher” which, while sounding cool, is a gas-guzzling GMC Suburban that takes to the streets during storms to give viewers at home a birds-eye view of just how bad road conditions are while taking up space on treacherous roads side-by-side with drivers who are out doing slightly less important things like trying to get to work or to appointments. Finally, they aired a taped interview with a local psychologist who told us that it’s good to complain about the weather. Complaining and letting it all out, she said, “really helps”, and then she shared an affirmation with us: “It will get better, winter will end, we’re going to have a great summer.”

In addition to complaining and letting it all out really helping, a concept I agree with, it’s also fun which is why I’m writing this, but again, seriously, when is enough enough and at what point does continuous coverage like this become nothing more than a bunch of different pitched voices chattering unheard?

Thanks for reading and yes, I know that I could stop my complaining about endless, over-the-top TV weather coverage by simply not turning on the TV, but that’s not nearly as dramatic as suffering and shouting my complaints to the world!

Loving and Hating Minnesotans

March 30, 2014

One thing I love about Minnesotans is that we’re not afraid to wear shorts and flip-flops when the sun is shining and the early spring temperature warms up to 41 degrees.

One thing I hate about Minnesotans is when shorts and flip-flops with a sweatshirt and a down vest become style du jour.

Looking at this poor guy — just one of the many tragic souls who finds himself lost in a fashion world that’s trapped between seasons — who has made one of the silliest fashion decisions imaginable, I can’t help but think that no one better ever tell me I can’t wear socks with Birkenstocks!

Minnesota fashion

“Table for two, please. And by the heater if possible.”

Can I borrow your pen?

March 28, 2014

Can I borrow your pen?”

You really don’t know how much I hate those words. I would rather give you a dollar to buy yourself a pen of your own than loan you my pen.

Actually, now that I’m thinking about it, I probably hate, “I want to shake your hand” more than “Can I borrow your pen?” but no one ever says that. Hand shake offerings are pretty much all non-verbal; someone just shoves a hand in your face and expects you to shake it, so “Can I borrow your pen?” is still at the top of the list. But the hand-shake offer is probably #1 on my non-verbal gesture list. Unless it’s the arms-open-wide-give-me-a-hug gesture. That’s a close one.

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So, now I have a perfectly unusable pen if anyone wants it. It’s a good pen. Or was. Ball point, medium tip, black ink and lots of it. Never once leaked. It’s got a good ergonomic grip and a nice, wide pocket clip. It’s also got Mr. “Can I borrow your pen?” ‘s essence all over it. Let me know and it’s all yours. Essence and all.

Sometimes the best advice in the world comes from the cheesiest of sitcoms.

Fred Phelps

March 20, 2014

I’m not going to shed any tears over the death of Fred Phelps founder of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas, but I’m also not going to jump for joy and celebrate his death like I see so many people doing in their online comments. The man preached hateful emotions and destructive beliefs and there’s no defending that, but rejoicing over, and celebrating, his death (in truth the death of any living creature) does nothing but put us on his level, and in the end it allows his life’s work to continue as we put the same negative thoughts and lethal emotions out into the universe that he spent his life spreading. I’m not going to miss him and I’m not going to memorialize or mourn him, I’m going to be better than him. I hope there are more people in the world who are going to be better than him as opposed to being just like him.

The Minnesota Orchestra

March 13, 2014

Despite the end of the lockout, the Minnesota Orchestra is still one messed up organization. I think the offer to Osmo Vanska, a man who took a good orchestra and made it great and who, through his interaction with the audience during some performances, actually made me feel engaged with the orchestra, and basically asking him to come back and lead a few programs as guest conductor so they can (apparently) use his name to sell tickets, while allowing the man zero creative control over the orchestra and its direction, is not only a slap in the face to the conductor, but to patrons and supporters as well. How insulting or out of touch are the people who make these decisions?

If the 16-month lockout wasn’t bad enough, this is just more proof that the orchestra’s board – and CEO – have no idea what they’re doing and do not operate with the best interests of the orchestra, or the community, in mind and they all need to step down. I’m still hopeful that the world-class orchestra we once had, as well as the music director who helped make that happen, will both return soon. And while I’m wishing for returns, I’ll add Assistant Concertmaster Stephanie Arado who, sadly, resigned from the orchestra last fall to go teach violin at a school in Michigan to my list. As much as I went to hear the orchestra for the music, I also sort of secretly went to watch Ms. Arado play because she was also so into the music. It’s one thing to go to a concert and close your eyes and relax and let the music wash over you; there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s really great, but it’s also fun to watch a musician who is so into the music that it not only flows from her fingers but from her entire body. 

To the chairman of the Minnesota Orchestra board, Gordon Sprenger, I have just three words: Bring Osmo back.

Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra website: http://www.minnesotaorchestramusicians.org/

Weird Stuff

March 10, 2014

Between that family in Florida eating LSD-laced meat and the woman in California who was stung over 1,000 times by killer bees and lived and Bigfoot tracks being spotted up in Vancouver and the really freaky Malaysian plane apparently disintigrating in mid-air added to the frequently present thoughts of any number of secret society conspiracies you can lob my way, I’m thinking I may have picked the wrong time to start watcing Fringe because I’m getting a little paranoid. If I see a guy on the ground with a fused alternate-reality body, multiple arms and legs sticking out all over the place, and his own duplicate face staring up at him from his stomach, there’s a good chance I’ll start screaming like a child and running in wild circles and wind up locked in a room somewhere being fed countless does of Cortexiphan. So if should ever just disappear from here, while you’ll probably never be able to find me (which doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try!), please remember to think of me every once in a while.

Football is Over, Thank the Heavens!

February 3, 2014

OK, football is over (and not a day too soon) so it’s time to turn our attention to hardball, the national game, America’s pastime. Baseball.

First up for 2014 is I’m sick of hearing people criticize the Twins recent signings of older, ex-Twins Jason Kubel, Jason Bartlett and Matt Guerrier. These guys were signed to minor league deals with invitations to Spring Training. The odds of the first two making the team (and helping them win my projected 87 games), or playing a role other than a bench player or injury call-up is, in my opinion, very slim. I could be wrong because both players provide experience and leadership which has been harder to find than victories in the Twins clubhouse the last few years. And considering how bad Pedro Florimon is, it might be easier than I think for Bartlett to land a spot. And in Guerrier’s case, while I think he’ll make the team if his hand is healed up, he has the option of opting out of the contract on June 1 if he didn’t make the major league roster.

I personally don’t see any downside to these three signings. The prices were right and the potential is there. The Twins AAA team is in shambles, and should Bartlett and Kubel not make the major league club, they’ll provide a lot of help down there while the level builds back up. And to prove that the Twins front office isn’t simply interested in bringing back low-cost, familiar faces to please the fans, they passed on pursuing free agent starter, and another aging, post-surgery, ex-Twin, Scott Baker, which was a decision I will be eternally grateful for.

Mr. Bates Twins fan

You never know where you’re going to run into another Twins fan. Go Twins!

 

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