Thursday, March 31, 2011

The 400 Bar

Life goes full circle in so many ways.

Last night I found myself at the 400 Bar on the West Bank of the Mississippi near the University of Minnesota campus. Girl-childrens' friends are in a band that got its first gig at the 400 last night, so off I went to listen and show support. They were great.

Molly and the Mistakes is the name of the band. Molly has a fantastic voice and The Mistakes showed that they are first-class musicians. Not only did they play well together, there were good instrumental solos. Look for them at Hell's Kitchen on Tuesday, April 26th at 6pm.

I couldn't help but tell the story of Arturo who, 25+ years ago came to visit when Pato and I were living on the West Bank. He had been an AFS student (from Spain) at my high school in Bloomington way back in the 1970s. The guy was astonished that he was in the same town as that high school in the suburbs (he liked the West Bank a lot). And then, in the most delightful example of linguistic over-compensation I have ever witnessed, he went to the bartender at the 400 and asked for a "two exes beer" because he didn't know that we call it "dos equis" in the U.S.

Nicole's comment was that we had been hanging out at the 400 before she was born.

Yes, dear, that's right. We used to be cool.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


The days are longer now that we've switched to Daylight Saving but it's given the afternoons a surreal feel; we got a ton of snow and cold weather right when the time changed, so at 5:00 it looks like it's 3:00 on a winter's day. At 7:00 it's still light out, but feels like it shouldn't be. I guess this is the "jet lag" of changing time that I've heard people talk about, I've just never experienced it until this past week. Does this mean I'm getting old or can I blame it on the weather?

The discovery of the day was through Facebook (who knew I'd ever find a use for Facebook?) I found out that International Yarn Bombing day is June 11, 2011. Now I have a target date for some special tagging project yet to be determined.

Speaking of knitting, I went to Needlework, Unlimited's 40th birthday bash before going to Mexico and won pattern and yarn for a leafy shawl. Seemed like a good idea to start it on the trip; the yarn is a cotton/linen blend, so perfect for the season, right?

And some limeade Reversi socks for a friend's (September) birthday (sorry, I wasn't going to show you but I rather like the way they're turning out. Hope you do too).

And a pair of red socks for a Christmas present (not pictured). Oh, and I made a sweater:
I'm on top of it this year ... maybe.

Turns out I have to be on top of it since I picked up another 20 hour/week job. It's working as a "Bilingual Associate Educator" in Minneapolis at an elementary school that has a large Hispanic population. It is, in fact, a very, very poor student population with over 60% ESL and 97% of the kids are on free or reduced rate lunch. I only worked a few days before spring break, but tomorrow I'll be at it full force. It seems funny to me that I've returned to my bleeding-heart roots; I'm working with disadvantaged kids in the morning and then with non-traditional adult students in the afternoons/evenings. I like it all (I may have to work 'till the day I die but by god I'm at least going to do what I like).

The weekend included a visit with Kate and Wyatt. It's so fun to get a baby fix. I love fuzzy baby heads:There's baby bling now - didn't exist back when I had babies - so you have a teething ring handy alwaysIt's still fun to watch them sleep:I've started The Book Thief, which I found at Value Village for $1. Can't say I know what to think of it yet. For travel reading I took Kindred to Mexico, which was recommended to me by one of the peer tutors at work. It was a fantastic book for the plane. Susan is trying to get book club going again; I'm interested to see what is chosen and who shows up.

In the movie department I recently watched Facebook (interesting but what a bunch of jerks), Coraline (creepy) and Inception (a little too weird but entertaining enough).

Monday, March 21, 2011

Burying My Head in the Sand

I don't want to think about the disaster in Japan, and I am blocking out information about our involvement in Lybia. It is so depressing and I am so disappointed with Obama.

Instead I will continue to revel in the color and personality of Mexico City.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Friday, March 18, 2011

Spring Break 2011

Girl-child and I finally made it to Mexico City for spring break.

More later.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Bookcase

Here's an amazing little video. I can't imagine the time it would take to put such a thing together. Of course, the makers of the video must not be knitters.

Thanks, Leab!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Tree Loss

I've been called names, including "Tree-hater" but I really do like trees. I was a bit distressed the other day when I saw a bunch of trees gone from Highland Parkway.
I thought it was preventative removal related to the Emerald Ash Borer, but apparently not. The map does not show the parkway as part of that plan, which means that the trees they cut down last week are in addition to the EAB prevention removals.
Some of those lost were quite large.
It doesn't look too bad now, but the canopy is going to be affected that's for sure. Thirty percent of the trees in St Paul are ash.
So go out there this summer and plant a tree. Make it something native and hearty, why dontcha?

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Knitter

I recently received this wonderful piece of art:
Fashioned after Miss Q's grandmother, who was a knitter:
Does that mean there's still hope that Miss Q will take up knitting? Hmmmm....