Archive for September, 2007

One more day of the Renaissance Festival

The Minnesota Renaissance Festival concludes this Sunday, the 30th. I went with a friend last weekend and we both had a good time. Here are my tips for having fun at the Renaissance Festival.

  1. Arrive early. The gates open at 9 am. Try to be there by 8:30. You get to park close to the gates, watch the pre-Festival entertainment, and avoid a lot of the crowds.
  2. Dress appropriately. This being the Fall, the morning weather can be chilly and the afternoon weather toasty. You should dress warm enough to be comfy in the morning. When you start to get too warm, get your hand stamped as you go out and make changes in your wardrobe (shed layers, switch into shorts, etc.) at your car. This assumes that you’ve got the extra clothes in your car, just in case you need them. Keep this plan in mind even if it’s going to be rainy. A pair of dry socks can be a blessing. Because you got there early and were able to park near the gates, the walk to and from your car is quick.
  3. Catch some shows. They are entertaining, but they are also a chance to rest. Wander for a while, but then sit down and relax. It will allow you to more fully enjoy the Festival.
  4. Check out the artisans. Some of the glasswork, jewelry, and painting (just to name a few) is out of this world. Take your time and look around! You’re not obliged to buy anything.
  5. Use the privies before you leave the Festival. Yes, there are privies in the parking lot, but they are fairly far from the gates and are full of people who failed to plan ahead.

What are your tips for the Renaissance Festival?

Coen Bros. are Minnesota-bound

Joel and Ethan Coen, whose northwoods noir classic Fargo helped teach the world to ridicule the way Minnesotans talk, are coming back to do another film. The Star Tribune reports:

A Serious Man, set in their hometown of St. Louis Park, will begin shooting in the Twin Cities in March, Lucinda Winter, executive director of the Minnesota Film and TV Board, said Friday….

The Coen-scripted dark comedy centers on “Larry Gopnik, a Jewish college professor in the Midwest during the 1960s,” according to the website FilmJerk. Bedeviled by children who lift his wallet, a wife who wants a divorce, a too-intense grad student and a hot neighbor who sunbathes in the nude, “he starts to question the value of life.”

Perhaps not coincidentally, the Coens’ parents were college professors.

It’s my personal contention that Barton Fink, Miller’s Crossing and The Big Lebowski are three of the 20 best films made in the past 100 years; here’s hoping A Serious Man becomes number four.

READY 2 ROCK seeks Minneapolis closet rockers (40+)

I bet you know a 40+ dude who has always dreamed of being a rockstar. Heck, he probably has a mullet and a flying V guitar resting in the corner of his basement. Maybe you’re that dude?

Well, time to step it up, middle-aged day dreamers. Daily Show co-creator — and Minneapolis native — Lizz Winstead comes to Minneapolis next week, looking for participants for a new show for Fuse TV she created:

READY 2 ROCK will audition people age 40+ from all over the United States, holding auditions and interviews to find just the right four or five people that haven’t been able get over the fact they didn’t have their shot at rock stardom. Whether it’s the money manager with the perfect wife, two kids, and the vintage Gibson guitar collection he has nowhere to play; or the contractor who always wanted to make his living as a drummer, but built his dream house instead of following his dream; or the guy who still lives in his parents’ basement. These people come from all walks of life and all musical backgrounds.

Now given this once-in-a-lifetime chance, their challenge will be to work together to come up with a cohesive sound and look, to write awesome (or not so awesome) songs and to learning the realities of being in a band — all of them.

Another lame reality show or a potential hit? I suppose it will entirely depend on the talent on the show and how it’s edited.

READY 2 ROCK – Twin Cities Participant Search
DATE: Wednesday, October 10, 2007
TIME: 5-10 PM

Java Jack’s Coffee Cafe
818 W. 46th St.
Minneapolis, MN 55419-4841

photo stolen from here

Puttin back the pints

Sure, it’s getting to the point where you’ve got to put on a jacket when you go out. Maybe you’re pulling sweaters out of storage–at least thinking about it. Most definitely, the a/c is off, unless you forgot to flick the switch after last weekend’s heat wave. Yes its cooler, but should you ever really be without ice cream in your freezer? Right now, my fridge is top heavy with pints from the Pumphouse Creamery, which is open throughout the winter (not Mondays). I checked out the independent ice cream parlor after having lunch in the 48th and Chicago area the other day and fell in love. They make all their own ice cream and use mostly local, organic ingredients. I might even call it spiritually righteous. The care they give to the product shows in the quality (the creamiest, tastiest ice cream I’ve ever had) but also the price (I paid at least twice what I’ve paid elsewhere).

I Love Female Orgasm Coming to the Smitten Kitten

femaleorgasmbutton.jpgSex educators Dorian Solot and Marshall Miller, authors of I Love Female Orgasm are giving a talk and signing their new book of the same name at the Smitten Kitten (Lake & Lyndale) on Sunday at 6:00pm. Admission is $5 (free with book purchase). Ten percent of author royalties go to Breast Cancer Action.

Now seriously, who doesn’t want to know more about female orgasms? Ladies, you want to know everything you can because… well, why wouldn’t you? I mean, really. Gentlemen, if you ever want to touch a woman again, you best learn some things.

Dorian and Marshall have been giving workshops on this topic for a while, so they’re sure to present it in a fun and informative way. And the Smitten Kitten is the perfect place to go to. That’s one of the friendliest, happiest stores I’ve ever shopped in. I’m surprised they don’t give out hugs when you check out.

Maybe they’ll have t-shirts on hand!

Kickball Travesty

kickball.jpgGary Vice is a kickball umpire for Minneapolis Parks & Rec. He’s very popular and a very good umpire, receiving praise from players and league administration alike. Two drunk bastards are trying to have Gary removed from umpiring in the league they play in and in another league that one of those player’s fiance plays in in retaliation for his ejecting their drunk asses from a game for their unacceptable behavior.

The new league commissioner has refused to manage the situation (and demonstrated incompetence in a number of other areas) and as a result it is escalating out of control. Apparently having Gary’s umpiring gigs cut and scheduled around their team isn’t enough.

The email below is from Gary. You really have to read the whole story. This is about poor treatment of an outstanding employee, poor management of the league, and ridiculous behavior by two grown-ass men. Information about contacting the Park Board follows the email. I’m sure Gary would like to hear your words of support as well.

(Thanks to Taylor for the heads up.)

We’ll be at Bacon Happy Hour tonight.

At the Triple Rock, around 9-ish, as previously mentioned.

Join us!

You too can profit from the misery of others!

I guess it should come as no surprise that, with the increasing number of foreclosures, sites are arising to help us find those foreclosure properties and possibly snap up a house at a bargain price. Right now RealtyTrac states there have been 7,594 new foreclosure filings in Minnesota so far this year. Compare that to California with 172,680 foreclosure filings so far this year. In other words, California is seeing 22 times as many foreclosures as Minnesota, with a population that is only 7 times as large.

I find it interesting, though, that right next to the statistics on foreclosures is the dancing guy selling cheap mortgages.

Caveat emptor, I guess.

Library board seeks applicants

Like to bitch about what’s going on with the libraries in Minneapolis and Hennepin County? Now you can do more than just bitch. If you follow the link on the main page of either site ( or, you can download a pdf application to be a member of the library board, a Hennepin County Citizen Advisory Board. You get to help figure out library budgets, and all kinds of other fun stuff that won’t cause you stress or lack of sleep, I’m sure. There are 2 openings starting in January and four more after the merger of the two systems happen with 3 spots for Minneapolis residents.

Download the pdf, print it out, fill it out, attach a resume or letter of qualifications (interestingly, there is nowhere I can find where it says what qualifications they’re looking for) and send it to the County Clerk.

@MinneapolisMN – The City Twitter

Last Thursday, I got a Twitter friend request from @MinneapolisMN. This so-called “City Twitter” was created by Orlando, FL-based Adrenalize, “a domain name registrar, consulting, email/website hosting and a Second Life® training company.” Adrenalize founder and CTO Corey Leong is currently the one twittering as @MinneapolisMN.

The first messages from @MinneapolisMN:

Greetings all! @MinneapolisMN officially launches tomorrow. We’ll be tweeting news, sports, weather, events, traffic tweets and more!

If you have a tweetout, a shout out but on twitter, just direct message @minneapolismn and we’ll tweet asap to other peeps following in MN!

Feel free to dm @minneapolismn anytime. We will be offerring sponsorships for our daily tweets so stayed tweeted. :) corey

I emailed Corey wondering about the evolution of the idea and his intentions for it. Our exchange is below and my thoughts on it follow. (For the impatient, my executive summary is “I hate it.”)

[MB] Where did you get the idea to be the City Twitter for Minneapolis?


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