Blackbird singing in the dead of night, take these broken wings and learn to fly... All your life, you were only waiting for this moment to arise... blackbird singing in the dead of night, take these sunken eyes and learn to see all your life, you were only waiting for this moment to be free

Thursday, September 30, 2004


As I pass by the old man with a white beard and a legal pad that reads "No Food. No Money. Please help." I'm eating my sandwhich and hurrying back to work. I'm struck by those three simple and clear sentences. This is the second time that I have passed him today; the first time I was just finishing my $1.25 cookie and marveling at the simple wonders before me.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

I took a bike ride through downtown this morning. I had two destinations City Hall and the IDS building. Biking downtown is a completely different beast than other ciy biking. I suppose every neighborhood or section of the city has it's quirks and ways about it. Navigation downtown is a bit more treacherous because there are more cars in a concentrated area adn also I think because the drivers downtown tend to get more frustrated than the average in city driver. Parking is awful to find (or just plain expensive) and downtown is filled with more one ways than most people are used to I think. Personally I'm glad that I don't have to drive down there anymore - as treacherous as biking is I'm sure I'll get the hang of it and it is far less frustrating than driving.

First on my list was city hall, not to difficult as it is basically a straight shot down 3rd Avenue to Government Plaza between 4th and 5th Streets. There is almost no where to park a bike in Government Plaza - I find this surprising only because there is a brand new light rail station right in front of city hall and bike lanes (albeit on random streets) lining the streets of downtown. I chained my bike up across the street from city hall at one of the Hennepin County buildings. The room for parking permit applications is just up the marble stairs to the left and then down the hall to the right a bit. There were two women staffing the office and there were three of us there to get permits. I ended up deciding to wait til December to get a permit as they are issued annually with no distinction for when you purchased the permit. The only reason that I want one is for the winter months, so I figure I can wait.

Next stop was the IDS building. I'm still having trouble navigating myway downtown. Some of this comes from my winters spent during college taking the bus downtown. The bus takes different routes based on some obscure code of bus logic which is often best not followed when navigating through any other sort of transportation - be it foot, bike or even car. So first I went up 3rd again, then over at another street, then down Marquette because I was "remembering" that the IDS is at the corner of 4th and Nicollet. I'm really not sure where my memory was pulling that from, but it was sorely incorrect. So I biked/walked over to Nicollet and took that until I found the giant pictures of Adrian Brody (whose lovely personage is hawking some upscale menswear). I meandered past the little old ladies and past the boothes of vegetables. So many vegetables! I didn't buy any because I had to get up to the 45th floor and check in with Jillian. She took lunch when we got there so we went down to the closest french sounding chain. I looked through the City Pages for upcoming events (Wilco! SissorSisters! Pixies!) that I won't be attending while she ate her prepackaged salad. It looked quite good - as did everything else in there.

Back on the street I navigated my way up Marquette (using the bike path), past my apartment again and towards uptown to get the computer and end up here at Bob's. The sunshine is lovely today even though I'm fairly certain I'm going blind trying to type and squint at the same time. I've made my farmers market list - i want to buy everything there. I'm probably going back this afternoon to pick up some more zuchini and then maybe save the rest of the list for Saturday.

zuchini, banana peppers (hot), heirloom tomatos, basil, cilantro, beets, green onions, leeks

I was looking through recipes last night. I really ought to pick a recipe before buying groceries - it is most likely more effective than just wandering down there looking at all the lovely veggies and wanting to buy everything.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

I don't belong here - I realize that. I'm just as aways a tourist, just passing through, not buying but thanks for asking. Maybe I'm the poser. Naw not quite. I'm sitting here at Bob's, my second to last day here (at least in a row) and am wondering if I've been wasting my time or not.

There is a boy who sits here everyday as well. He usually has a friend with him and they spend their time reading the newspaper, writing, or talking on their respective cell phones. He is familiar, but that could be stemming from the fact that I've come here almost every day in the past two weeks or that Minneapolis is really a very small town. I came from several small towns to move here to the big city. I did it with purpose, to be educated, increase my world view, meet a husband (ha! just kidding!), and experience life. I am a people watcher at heart, I'll never deny it. Humans fascinate me. I should have been a sociologist. Well I guess I am anyway. At school I studied English, writing, reading etc. which I think would have taken me places except I let the internet stunt my learning ability and my attention span. I recently had to take a little test to prove I was competent enough to get a temporary position and discovered that I can't do simple math, I can't spell, I do know the alphabet, and I can type 60 words a minute with no mistakes. Go me. Also, I've read over ten books in the month of August. Impressive no?

Anyway... I wonder who this boy is. Is he in school? Does he work at night or is this his office? He certainly is on his phone a lot and he keeps a folder or book with him with writing material in it. Everyone wants to be a writer. Don't you? He is skinny, but not in that all too popular anorexic hipster boy kind of way. He is usually wearing a plaid shirt, black jeans, black boots, shortly cut hair and pretty close shaven and has larger black earrings that are like little horns through his ears. Also - he's political. I saw him wearing a November 2 shirt the other day and now hes sitting with a group of guys who are discussing the election and one of them has a ton of John Kerry bumper stickers that he gave to the guys at the table. I think the two guys who just joined them are discussing labor rights and whatnot, the politics of overtime and exemptions. He's not discussing, but working on the crossword puzzle. I think I should start doing crossword puzzles. It is one of those smart people activities and also helps prevent alzheimers.

He seems so reflective today. Also I think he might be gay. Also Thoreau's Walden is boring. Important, but boring.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

So this morning I've been learning all about the world of EMT rescue, trauma, and how to deal with specific regard to bike race tracks. Very interesting stuff. How often do you think about the person whose job it is to rescue you from a traumatic situation ala car crash, being thrown from a bike etc. These are they guys who strap you into that board and prevent your spinal injury to the best of their ability. I've never been in a serious accident although occasionaly I'm terrified of cars. Unfortunately that isn't making me a better driver and I still don't have a bike helmet.
Earlier this summer while walking back from book club Maria and I whitnessed a car accident on Franklin. It was right at the corner of Blaisdale and Franklin in front of the African American Services Center. It must have been around 9:30 at night. I'm still not sure how it happened but I'm pretty sure that the first car pulled out onto Franklin from one of the side streets and hit the second car on the drivers side. The first car then kept driving, pulling out ahead of the car it hit (which was trying to pull over to the side of the road, out of traffic etc) and continued driving, probably going only around thirty or fourty miles an hour and plowed right into the lamp post on the ride hand corner of the street. The first hit which we only heard and didn't see (as it was beind us about fifty or so feet) was enough to shock me, but it didn't seem that bad so we kept walking, paying attention, but trying our best not to gawk. However when the car kept going I began to get really worried as you could tell that something was obviously not right with the driver of the car. We watched in what felt like slow motion as the car ran head on into the lamp post. That was what freaked me out is that we were watching this car, this heavy, quick moving piece of metal filled with at least four people at the time, we were watching it and we could see where it was headed. And there was nothing that anybody could do about it. After they crashed into the post we turned down the corner to give ourselves some distance from it. Niether of us called the police, my hand was reaching for my cell phone, but was frozen above it. It was as if we both wanted to ignore the awful scene that we had just whitnessed and hope that everything was ok instead of actually doing anything about it. There were a couple of men standing not to far behind us who also seemed to have seen everything and they ran up to the accident to check on people and also called the 911 immediately. The cops showed up and attended to the passangers of the car. The driver of the first car seemed to be suffering not just from shock of the accident, but also of some sort of intoxication. Everyone else seemed to be fine. But then again, I'm no EMT, I was just watching from the shadows.

Edited to say: Just as I finished posting a Minneapolis Fire truck pulled up to the front of Hang It the framing shop on Lyndale next to the soccer store and Sunny Side-Up Cafe. I don't see any smoke, and the emt people seemed to be huddled around the back of the truck. Very curious. Lights are flashing and its parked the wrong way on the street.


In other news... today's word of the day is "bricolage" the definition of which seems to be a pretty accurate description of almost everything I do, mostly though of my cooking. In my cooking I almost always start with a recipe, but the lack of specific ingredients never gets me down.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

I stopped in at "el casa de morgana y kerstin" or as I'm beginning to refer to it as "the Suzanna Roettger Memorial Drop In Center" this morning to pick up the laptop and head over to Bob's for what is becoming my daily chai and internet roundup. Across the street the neighbors were having some sort of domestic situation. When I pulled up on my bike, I noticed a large stocky man in a white tshirt and jeans walking slowly and purposefully down the street. He didn't make eye contact with me as I passed him and it looked as if he might involuntarily bust out of his clothes at any minute and start bashing the cars that lined the street ala the Hulk. All was quiet until I got up to the apartment and then the yelling started. I've heard this kind of yelling before at the same location and everytime I start to wonder whether or not I should call someone about it. But really this just doesn't seem to be the kind of thing that one calls about - because who would you call except the police and since he isn't actually physically damaging anything there really isn't much to do. Instead I just remain uncomfortable and look out the window for a minute or two to assess the situation. There is a woman, late twenties, in a sweatshirt and jeans sitting on the back step of the apartment building who seems to be waiting it out. My first reaction is that it is good she is outside, probably safer there in the broad daylight than inside the darkness of the crumbly brick building. And yet there is more yelling. It is all coming from the man who I previously saw walking down the street. I don't see who he is yelling at and in fact I think that his anger is most likely directed at either someone still in the apartment, the woman on the step or himself. In a moment an older woman will grab the arm or a little girl, hair in braids, maybe two years old, yell at her to get back in the building and when she resists will smack the back of her head. As I leave the apartment building the man is still pacing out on the street and yelling. I can't tell what he is saying but that really doesn't seem to be the point.

Friday, September 03, 2004

As long as I have money for iced chai, friends who let me borrow their wi-fi strong laptops, nice weather and optimism I think I'll be set.

Yesterday I biked to the library and paid off my two year old fine. Thats right I hadn't been back to the library since I racked up the $11.20 fine two whole years ago. Well I finally figured out that swallowing my pride and paying off that fine would be cheaper than buying the books that I needed for book club and in these times off vacation (I really mean unemployment, but I'm feeling like a vacation more than that) I need to be even a bit more cautious with my cash flow than usual. So I checked out the books that I needed, The Butterfly and the Diving Bell and Tropic of Cancer. I'm halfway through Tropic of Cancer, so far I'm finding it a masturbatory romp through Paris - and when I say that what I reallly mean is that all Henry Miller wants to talk about are "cunts" and his sexual exploits he has with them, usually abusive on both sides (but if it is abusive on both sides is it really abusive? or maybe he just writes it that it seems that the women seem to be using him as much as he and his fellows use them, definately not trusting this narrator, plus he is so crude in his references to women only once have they been referred to as women - the rest is all in dehumanizing "cunts" and "lays" etc... only good for sex and whoring) and the fact that he is always hungry - literally - and yet will sometimes refuse the meals that his compatirots offer him or complain that they didn't offer. Often times I find myself laughing at the book and at him, this Henry Miller. I laugh at him, not with him. I am however finding some kernals of truths as one should find in fiction in the book as well. In fact my favorite passage so far has been a paragraph describing how a man was looking over Paris and he could tell from the look in the man's eyes that Paris, in all it's dirt, poorness, and lavish extravagances belonged to this man. That I believed - because I felt that in Paris and I often feel that here in Minneapolis.

I'm now wishing Galooney's had wi-fi... Getting a little hungry and the sandwiches here are a bit more than I want to spend on... hmmm. Might have to drive up that way (I figured biking with someone elses laptop might not be the best choice). The music in here though reminds me of high school and in that good way - a bit of foo fighters, live, pearl jam and others that I could sing along to and know all the words, but really I have no idea who is singing. oh my dog... nirvana!