Tuesday, December 22, 2009

For Your Listening Pleasure III: Christmas Waltz

Christie and I took a trip to La Crosse's Rotary Lights at Riverside Park last night and it was nauseatingly lovely. Something about that commercialized, sparkly, but nostalgic Xmas Light Thing brings a song to my heart. I just eat that stuff up.

Take a walk with me and Christie's new camera that doesn't necessarily take the best videos (hey, it was its first try at a light show...that's a big pond for such a young, tiny fish) and listen to The Christmas Waltz, a song I couldn't remember for the life of me during the whole recording and editing process, so I named it things like Frosted Window Panes and Christmassy Song and Fa La La La La. If I was as cool and witty and spunky as I wish I was, that last title would be true, but it's not.

Happy Xmas Eve EVE, faithful follower(s)!!

video

Christmas Waltz
Arrangement (c) 2009 Brian Schroeder

Friday, December 11, 2009

For Your Listening Pleasure II: River

More of what I've been dreaming up on my keyboard during my study breaks. The beautiful video was shot this afternoon when I drove past a lake called Josephine and decided it would look great with this song. It's a cover of River.


video

River (c) 2009 Brian Schroeder

Thursday, December 3, 2009

For Your Listening Pleasure I: Snow

I thought I'd take a 45-minute break from my studying for finals to record a little Christmas diddy for my faithful follower(s). I haven't released anything musical for over a year, so I figured you'd like to hear something new of mine. Just a quick a recording of a totally new arrangement, written by yours truly.

Also, we got our very first snow today! Yippie-kai-ay for a light dusting.

It's a wonderful song...I don't know why I can't find any other people covering it. And I thought I'd give a you a little looped animation to look at while you're listening.

So here it is. Snow from the movie White Christmas. Hope you enjoy.

video
(c) 2009 Brian Schroeder

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Blue Trees

I was away from Blogsville this week because I had a major test, a 10-page exegesis paper, and a less important art project due. Knowing me, I'm sure you're confident that I put more time into the art project than the other more important assignments. Who gives a pretty crap. I was given permission to make another StopMo animation! Many, many hours later, about 600 photos, 12 camera batteries, and a colossal mess on my desk later (dot dot dot, enter the pic)...



...I've got a pretty wonderful 2-minute animation called Blue Trees, including my own original score! Hope you enjoy.

video

Here's a higher-quality version on YouTube. Darn you, Blogger...only giving me 100MB to work with!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QaquhsGKPB8

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Fraidy Cat Lion, By 3rd Grade Me.


My parents finally found it.  As I mentioned in Lallapalooza of Lions, the lost book I wrote as a 3rd grader has reemerged, and as promised, here it is. Notice how my drawings now are really not too much better than those from ten years ago.

Monday, November 16, 2009

My Year, Made.

I have something that probably doesn’t mean much to most of you but means the WORLD to me.

Christie and I had a strange realization about a year ago when we discovered that we both spent a large amount of our childhood summers in Amery, visiting our grandparents (hers, who still live there and mine, who moved away five years or so ago) and that it was very likely that we were in Amery at the same time at one point before we knew each other. We’re both pretty sure we would not have been friends, though.  I was too awesome and she was too nerdy.

The place where my grandparents used to live is the setting for a vast majority of my most warm, fuzzy, squishy, lovely, awesome childhood memories. And that’s probably the reason I still secretly, painfully yearn for the days back at The Lake Home,  with the paddle boat and the hammock and the fresh caught fish and the sunny mornings waking up in the guest cottage and thumping down the big wooden steps and through the cold, dewy lawn to eat pancakes shaped like whatever you could possibly come up with to ask Grandpa to make. I could make that run-on sentence even run-on-ier with memories from baby duck chasing to the feeling of the carpet in the guest cottage. I’ll stop here, though.

[Me, a child, being too cute for words.]

Anyway, last weekend Christie and I spent our Sunday in Amery visiting her grandma. At a break in the day, I begged Christie to drive with me to go see if we can find The Lake Home where my grandparents used to live. She granted this to me, and we went out searching around the lake. Five minutes into our trip, things started looking quite familiar. Three minutes later, we pulled into the driveway. My heart was seriously beating through my chest.

I called up my grandparents to tell them where we were. “We’re pretty good friends with the owners,” they said, “go ahead and knock on the door.” The really didn’t have to tell me that; I was fully ready to knock on the door, introduce myself, and demand a tour so I could see everything from my childhood, tell every story I can possibly remember and probably cry a little bit, but no one was home.

“Well, whatever,” I said, “I’m looking around anyway.”

(The three kids—now adults—who spent their childhood along side of me would do the exact same.)

Almost everything was as I remember it. Even down to the stepping stones and the smell of the lake, to the feeling of the ground. If I had taken my camera, every one of those nostalgic tidbits would be captured and posted, but since Christie and I only had our cell phones, our only option were those, which I desperately want you to see. So desperately, in fact, that I’m willing to share some pictures with me in them, which I have never done on this blog before.

[Happy. As. A. Clam.]

I can’t tell you, I can’t tell you, how happy this made me. This may have been big enough that it actually made my entire year.

Now watch as the owners stumble upon this blog and say, “Hey! That’s our house! This guy was taking pictures on our property!”

I don’t care, owners. This is my place too.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

PB&L (L = Love)

Why did  this amaze me enough to take a picture of it? 

My mom sent me some delicious homemade strawberry jam, some peanut butter, and a loaf of bread. Finding myself hungry yesterday, I decided to crack open all three items to make a nostalgic PB&J.  I dipped my knife into the smooth, unmolested top of the peanut butter and thought...
...beautiful. 

Just beautiful. 

Notice how the dollop on my knife still has the memory of its days as an unappreciated but pure addition to the rest of the jarred peanut butter. And also see how half of the top of the peanut butter is still smooth.  

Gorgeous.

So I took a picture. I never used to notice this phenomenon when I ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches daily as a kid. I was so young and naïve.

I can't even tell you the magic that happened when I put the sandwich in my mouth. 

Sunday, November 8, 2009

By Popular Demand...

Well, actually only by two people saying I should post it...

Here's a 5-second StopMo I did right before I went to bed the other night. It's not much, but it's kinda fun. Also, it's the first time you readers of my blog get to hear me sing in the 5-second score. 


video

Friday, November 6, 2009

I Planned To Clean My Room...

...but first I decided to check my blog.  And then I looked at a cool blog I'm thinking of following by an artist who uses Stop-Motion animation (think Gumby or the original Rudolph movie). And I pondered, hmmm...I wonder how he did that. Can I do that?

Which sent me to google. To Wikipedia. To a groovy site saying that I can make my very own StopMo video with my digital camera and iMovie on my Mac. And now it's 1:30 and I'm posting what I've been working on for the past few hours. The quality is low, but I posted it on YouTube so you can see it better. And I performed the original 15-second score, haha. 1:30 in the morning. 

And my room still isn't clean. 

video

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Space Explorer Extraordinaire on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays

“Hey man, wanna hang out tonight? The whole gang from the lunch table is getting together to get our C.S.I on.”  My dreamfriends talk like that.

“Sorry dude. I have to work.  Raincheck?”

“Aw, bummer, man.”

“”Yeah, I know.  I’m so pissed.”  We parted ways, my friend with a frown, and myself with a sneaky, hidden smile. I didn’t want to hang out with them.  I was so much more excited to go to work.

Because my work was in space.

Every other day after class, I would drive down to the NASA headquarters in Minnesota (such a thing exists in my unconscious mind) and clock in for my shift.

This particular day I put my backpack down in my NASA locker, grabbed my space gear, and went down to the launch room. I slipped into my shiny space suit, which was shiny and awesome, but not too awesome because I was only a test rider—the nicer suits went to the mucky mucks who actually get to explore up there.  My job simply was to ride up into space, go around the moon to make sure everything was cool, and come back to earth before dinner.

I made some small talk with Miriam, the homely but sassy lady who pushes the button for my take off. Then I plopped myself into my rocket ship after making sure my iPod was charged. What would I do today? Spend some time facebook stalking?  Munch on a sandwich? Color? Do homework? Probably not the last one.

[Yes, my space shuttle has wheels. Got a problem with that?]

And I rode to the moon and back, which of course only took a few hours, and returned to earth to get back to my dorm room.  Just an average day in the life of a minimum-wage space explorer.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Gummi Krunchy Bears (An Update With a Better Picture)

Whenever I go on a road trip which causes me to stop at a gas station, I always stop by the candy aisle. Not because I crave the familiar high-fructose corn syrup goodness of Skittles or Starbursts; it's because I have a sick need to find the weirdest candy I can and try it.

Today, on a trip up to Duluth with Christie, I found these gems at a Marathon station. Gummi bears adorned with crunchy colored beads. This is almost as epic as the day I discovered candy sugar cigarettes. 

Monday, October 26, 2009

Avoiding the Box, Kicking and Screaming

I have a new obsession.  Usually my obsessions are okay, but this one scares me (and my parents) a little bit.

Christie talked me into taking a 3-D art class at school with her this semester. (You can all blame her.)  Having to fulfill the requirement, I took the class and now have fallen hopelessly in love with sculpting, building, nailing, gluing, sawing, plastering, and creating things.  In love enough that I’ll be talking to my advisor tomorrow about the possibility adding art to my study program. 

Which will add another element to my major that, on paper, will make me about zero dollars as a grown-up.

My Major Program:

  • Reconciliation Studies:
    • A semi-academic area of study which focuses on fixing all the broken relationships in society. We look at ways to eliminate racism, sexism, homophobia, ageism, economic disparity, and all the other problems in our world.  Pretty lofty, huh?
  • Spanish
    • Still undeclared, but I am receiving a Spanish-major-like education.
  • Art
    • Are you kidding me?

Why couldn’t I have just stuck with Biblical and Theological Studies like I was so committed to as a freshman? At least I would have been able to get a low-paying, un-luxurious, but at least stable job when I left college. But darn me and my freaking mind and damn passion to avoid staying in the lines at all costs.

Hey, at least I’m paying loads and loads of money to learn things that excite me instead of paying loads and loads of money to be stuffed inside a box and rolled down a banal track until I’m old enough to retire, right?

I sure do hope so.

Wish me luck. 



(P.S.: This is totally and example of a Thing That Holds Things that I don't like.)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Death to the Whippy Dip

I underwent a major change today, sort of on a whim.  I’ve done it before, yet I seem to forget the emptiness I feel right after it happens. There’s just something missing. I’ll get over it soon, I’m sure.  I think.  I hope.

Anyway, here’s the change:  I no longer have what has been called The Jimmy Neutron...

The Astro Boy...

The Johnny Bravo...

The Kenickie...

...or as I so lovingly call it, The Whippy Dip.

Buzzed it right off.

My head is freezing.  This may constitute the purchase of a swanky new hat to keep my noggin from straight up snapping off like a frozen carrot.

A friend already asked me how my chemo’s going.

It’s much easier to draw myself with the Whippy Dip, so you’re just going to have to imagine that my hair is slowly growing back into all it’s Johnny Bravo glory. 

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Groovin' Vatican Style

The other night I dreamed I was showing the Pope (yes, The Pope) around La Crosse. How someone as non-Catholic in his beliefs as myself ever received the honor of linking arms and trudging around the Coulee Region with the Holy See, I have no idea. He seemed quite lovely, though.  Not as save-the-world, kick-butt awesome as John Paul II of course, but still cool. Even though I’m pretty sure we couldn’t do much talking, given that he speaks German.

[I’ve always imagined the Pope wearing cool zebra kicks.]

Halfway through our tour, the Pope fell down, dead.

Oh crap.

Luckily the Pope’s posse was surrounding us, so no one could frame me for killing Pope Benedict XVI.  Can you imagine?

Anyway. The Pope died, and I was given the privilege of carrying the casket with the Pope in it to the Holy Vatican Helicopter (or the HVH…it’s not a real thing. My roommate recommended Popacopter, and I think Helipopeter is pretty good too). I remember thinking it was quite small.  “Gosh, we sure had a short Pope.  A Shpope, if you will,” I couldn’t help but say.

The HVH took off and I was left thinking, Wow. I just witnessed the death of the Pope and carried his casket.  

Fast-forward to the next day.

I received an important phone call telling me that, since I had been with the Pope in his final hours, I was invited to carry his casket in his actual funeral at the Vatican. 

How COOL!!  

Don’t take that as disrespectful, now. I really didn’t know the guy or have any sort of connection to him whatsoever. What I was excited about was being part of history and going to go see the Vatican.  I was pumped.

The person on the telephone told me that I had to drive to the Diocese of La Crosse and wait for the plane to come get me.  And I knew they wouldn’t be sending a regular old American Airlines plane to pick me up. This was going to be like 1st Class. Vatican Class. Probably a high-speed jet, like in Angels & Demons. Awesome. 

I drove down Sand Lake Road, heading towards the Diocese, and hundreds of Amish people ran down their driveways to wave to me as I left.  (I’m pretty sure there aren’t any Amish people living in La Crosse, by the way. And who knew they were such big Pope fans?)

Then a tractor with a gigantic trailer pulled in front of me. In the trailer were about forty Amish men, standing and unbuckled. They are going to have one hell of a time on the highway.

I tapped my hands on the wheel, excitedly.  “I’m not really dreaming right now, am I? I mean, I have my phone with the call on it from the Vatican right here, I’m touching the steering wheel…This is really happening!” 

(It wasn’t.)

Arriving finally at the Diocese, noticed that I was late for the procession of priests and bishops in honor of the Pope. I jumped in sneakily—me in my shorts and Chacos, and the priests in their official garb—and tried to pretend like I was chanting the same Latin as they were. One of the priests I actually knew turned to me and said, “Wow, Brian! You’re finally picking up Latin?” I looked at him and said, quite seriously, “I have no idea what I’m doing right now.”

I was escorted to the Vatican High-Speed Angels & Demons Jet Waiting Room to find that three of my friends, a priest, a nun, and the choir director from the Catholic church I attended as a youngin’ were there. We exchanged hugs, all feeling overwhelmed at the fact that we were going to be in Italy in a few hours, and I realized I forgot my cell phone charger and my camera.  The two most important things I could possibly bring with me. I wanted to go back, but my friends held me back, reassuring me that they brought theirs.

Thank God.

I was so excited I had to pee, so I went to the Diocese bathroom, and when I flushed the toilet, I accidentally turned on the shower, which happened to be right on top of the toilet. 

Now I’m going to be all wet at the Vatican.

I dried off as much as I could, and stepped out to go see my friends.  I could smell Italy just around the corner and I was so darn excited and honored and freaked out and pumped and—

—and then I woke up, disappointed beyond belief that the dream wasn’t real.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Oh My Goodness...

I love (and I mean love) autumn. 
That's all. 

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Cowboy to the Rescue (A Nod to Blog Action Day)

While I was sleeping the other night, I was just getting done with some late-night shopping in my mind. Taking my bags to the car, I noticed that the car I had parked next to had a couple with some car problems.

“Car trouble?” I asked, all studly-like.

I forgot to mention they were wearing a tuxedo and a wedding dress.

They said, “Yes! Our car won’t start. Can you help us out?”

“Where yuh headin’?”  (This time I was like a cowboy, apparently.)

“Bethel University.”

“Well, I’ll be! I’m draggin’ my donkey down thur m’self. I could bring yuh along.”

“Oh, that would be fabulous, Cowboy Man, thanks!”

“Only one problem though. Ma van’s full. The only space I have for yuh is way in the back. And yull hafta squish. You two getting’ married?”

“No, we already are. We’re just wearing these for a night class presentation.”

“Very nice. I reckon you two’ll git a good grade.”

“Thank you, Hoss.”

“Hop on in.” 

And I drove the couple to Bethel in my van.

Car pooling is a good way to reduce the amount of exhaust that goes into the air we breathe. The more we carpool, the closer we will get to being the clean Earth we strive to be.

It’s Blog Action Day, and over 4,000 blogs are teaming up around Bloggsville to write about a global cause in order to spread awareness about it. This year’s topic is climate change.

I carpooled in this dream, rode my bike to prom in another. In Just a Flying Frog in Paris, I dreamed about the future of our earth if things keep going the way they’re going. One lesson here is that my dreams are greener than yours, but another lesson is that we should all take time today to think about the ways in which we can help the environment and make climate change history.  What do you say? Let’s make our lives greener.

I still can’t believe that I dreamed about shoving people in the back of my van.  I don’t know who I dream this garbage.

Speaking of garbage: decrease your waste by buying reusable bags and recycle properly.

 

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

All better, thank you.

Yeah, I’m done being sick. My fever’s gone (and, just between you and me, it was probably gone yesterday too but I didn’t use or read my dinosaur of a mercury thermometer correctly, so who really knows). But, just to be safe, my nursing-major friend told me I should still stay home today just in case I’m still contagious.

That means homework. And lots of it. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

For those not in the know...

Okay, this may just be for Christie. But for those of your who have already seen this wonderful song from The Music Man which I mentioned in the "Yeah, We Got Trouble," post, let me tell you: it will most likely make you smile.

Unless you hate good things.

I love good things, so this made me smile.

To oink or not to oink.

Okay, so maybe I do, maybe I don’t have the Swine Flu.

I feel better today. But I still have a high temperature. I’m snorting less. (I make all these pig comments to annoy my roommate, a pig farmer who hates that people think that Swine Flu really has anything to do with pigs anymore. He also doesn’t read my blog, so I don’t know why I still make these comments here.)

I couldn’t run a 5k right now or anything, but I could definitely go out and dance in yesterday’s snow. (Oh wait, that’s all melted.) So I guess I’m just left inside, probably doing homework, and questioning the possibility of whether I really have the Swine Flu or not. 

[This is me questioning the possibility of whether I really have the Swine Flu or not. See? I'm holding the pig's nose I was wearing in the last post? It's very metaphorical.]

Monday, October 12, 2009

Yeah, we got trouble. Right here in River City...

With a capital T that rhymes with P that stands for H1N1.

I think I have the Swine Flu. I received a flu shot about a week ago, and yesterday I got the flu.

Flu shoot me in the face.

Complying with Bethel’s H1N1 rules, I am “self-isolating,” which means I’m staying in my room, having my meals brought to me, skipping all my classes, and wearing a mask every time I have to go outside. Yuck.

What makes things worse is that it’s snowing today. In October. The trees haven’t even lost their leaves yet and it’s snowing. This is the kind of thing I would run out and dance in if I were healthy enough to stand for more than two minutes. All I can do is stare and yearn out my window.

So Shreds (that’s my nickname) will be living in a bubble until 24 hours after his fever goes away. Not too happy.

Oink oink. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

CatGyver

I am about to tell you about a dream I had that I, in a sleepy haze, texted Christie about and fell back asleep and forgot it.  This is a dramatization of what I expect would have happened in my unconscious noggin, because all I have to remember it by is a drowsy, single-sentence text, which I will share at the end of this post. So here it is.

Dusk! An owl begins his nightly chirping atop a tall white pine in Bethel's very own white pine forest, hoping nervously that his call will be the only one he hears tonight. “I can’t currently think of anything to be afraid of up here in this tree,” says the owl, “but one can never be so sure when Dusk! is yelled at the beginning of a paragraph.”

Freshmen lay their little sweet heads down on the brand-new pillows Mommy got for them and cozy up underneath their fancy duvets. Nothing can hurt them tonight, right?

Wrong.

“Too tee too tee too,” hums the owl, to himself, “Too tee too tee tooo—WHOA!” Underneath him, an ominous black shape creeps along the floor of Bethel’s very own white pine forest. The owl’s breath catches in the back of his throat as the figure looks up at him with glowing green eyes. “I’m a puma,” it says, “Watch your back.”

The image of a popped corn kernel flashes in the sky.  This is a job for…

Brian.

I jumped on to my bike and carefully rode (I learned my lesson from Over the Handlebars) to the main campus of Bethel, and see the threatening puma. Crouched behind a bush, ready to kill anyone, is the Grand-Cul Félin (that’s French for Big-Ass Cat).  Feeling mighty proud, I reached in—here kitty kitty—only to be met with ferocious claws and a roar so dinosaur-like I feared someone had extracted the DNA from a prehistoric mosquito who was eternally trapped in a drop of tree sap.

I hope some of you understood that reference.

Hmm. I thought. I can’t just lure this puma out of the bushes with some Fancy Feast and ribbon. I need something more.

Hmm.

I got it!

Jumping on my bike again, I pedaled out of campus, down Snelling Avenue, and over to the Target Superstore. Barging through the automatic doors, taking a quick stop at the Dollar Spot, I passed aisle after aisle, looking for the purrrr-fect  (sorry about that) tool. I needed to think quickly; that puma could strike out at any time.

At this point, I was running through the store. There was no time to lose. Luckily, I soon found exactly what I needed: a few Ethernet cords and some pizza joint refrigerator magnets.

I pedaled back to Bethel, pushed my way through the crowd of people like a Ethernet cord-wielding Moses, and said, “Don’t worry, folks. I’ll get this kitty out of here.”

The U.S. government currently is not allowing me to tell my bloggies how I used some Ethernet cords and pizza magnets to bring a giant cat into submission and take it from the campus, but I will tell you this: that night, I became the MacGyver of cats. Feline-ver. MacGycat. No.

CatGyver.

That’s what most likely happened in the dream I can’t remember. Here’s what I had to work with…

“I dreamed there was a big, evil puma outside of Bethel and I went to target to buy some Ethernet cords and pizza store magnets to kill it.”

Monday, October 5, 2009

Mr. Wingsy

I’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting (and waiting) for the right time to tell you about my brand-new kite, but the weather has been so bad and the wind has been so low lately that I couldn’t take any worthwhile pictures.

Until now.

Last weekend Christie and I took a five-hour trip with my aunt from Minneapolis to Milwaukee to visit my other aunt. We spent two days walking around Cedarburg doing Emerson Merrick-y things, like peruse antique stores and getting our grub on in little crêpe cafes. A little gimmicky, but big fun.

On Sunday we had a few unscheduled hours, so Christie and I took advantage of the winds off Lake Michigan to break out Mr. Wingsy. 

(That’s my kite’s name.)

Isn’t he great? He looks like a pro and flies like your favorite single-lined childhood dream of a kite. I had gotten rather lonely after I retired my other kite, named M’Kite McAwesomePoppins, who I took with me to Europe this summer. Read my old blog to find out why I can’t ever fly him again.

Anyway. Mr. Wingsy is a dream. I love him in all his RipStop nylon perfectness. 

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

My foot's in my mouth...and I'm bald.

I had a dream the other night that I was hanging out with a cluster of my friends, when a woman with Male Pattern Baldness walked by.  Not like "thinning" hair, though, the horseshoe-around the back of the head hair that both my grandfathers, my father, and eventually I will have.

As I was staring at this woman, probably a little too blatantly, one of my friends said, “Hey Brian, she looks like you!” 

I reached up to my head, and lo and behold, I was bald.

And then I woke up. 


Monday, September 28, 2009

Choo Choo Two

(Written Saturday, September 26th)

“Let’s see…if going south on the Minnesota side, we want to sit on the…left side of the train,” a noisy woman who just may know it all said to her quiet husband as they passed me in the dining car. It’s 7:35am and I’m on the train again. Destination: unknown.

Just kidding. I’m going to La Crosse.

The sun is nauseatingly beautiful this morning, and even though it’s getting in my eyes, the orange haze it’s casting all over the dome car (or dining car, viewing deck, whatever) makes the low number on my watch and the slight headache I’m experiencing worth it.

A six-year-old girl came and sat across from me as her mom went to go get some juice for breakfast. She gave me a play-by-play on the size, color, and shape of the Froot Loops she was eating one by one out of a Tupperware container. She also told me that she wanted to guess my age, and when she did, she guessed 40. 

As a 21-year-old, I can’t say I’ve ever experienced that. 

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Witnessing Momentary Performances

Last week I marked two calendars, made major plans, and got really excited to go see a man with a white hat pushing a bicycle stop to eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Lee Walton is an Experientialist artist who has set up seven performances in the Minneapolis area over the next three months. I could go on and on trying to explain this guy, but I suggest you just go to his website to experience his work for yourself.  Or hey, come to Bethel! I’ll treat you to a smoothie at Royal Grounds.

Anyway, a week before Friday, these words were put on the wall of Cuzzy’s Bar in Minneapolis.

Like I said, I marked my calendar, and Christie and I made a date to go watch, sure enough, at 6pm, a man with a blue hat pushing a bicycle eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. So random, yet so deliberate.


I’m currently obsessed with his work. Here’s a schedule for the next six performances. I’ll be going to all of them. 

Outside of Barbette Restaurant 
1600 W Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55408 
Wednesday, September 30 at 10:00am 
Person with wiffle ball bat walks curb before finding a penny

Across from the Black Dog Café 
at the corner or Broadway St. and Prince St, Lowertown, St. Paul, MN 
Sunday, October 11 at noon 
Person walking with purpose stops to answer cell phone, turns 360 degrees

Outside of Whitey's Saloon
400 E. Hennepin Ave. Minneapolis, MN 
Tuesday, October 13, 2:00pm 
Person sitting with legs crossed, drinks a Pepsi while thinking about an old friend.

Outside of the Red Stag
509 1st Avenue NE, Minneapolis, MN 
Monday, October 19 at 11:59pm 
Person with backpack relieves an itch

701 Washington Ave. N (between 7th Ave. N and 8th Ave. N), Warehouse District, Minneapolis, MN
Saturday, November 1 at 1:00pm 
Person walks by wearing mostly blue carrying 2 gallons of milk.

Bethel University Campus, Brushaber Commons, 2nd floor
3900 Bethel Drive, St. Paul MN 
Thursday, November 5 at 4:15pm 
Two students with brightly colors shoelaces kiss before going separate ways.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Guess what the sky is tonight...

CLOUDY.

And what’s cancelled when the sky is cloudy?

MY ASTRONOMY CLASS, which is actually really fun but there’s just something about not having to go to class.

And what else does that mean?

That I’m free until 10, and then I’m back to my regular 10p.m. - 1a.m. slice of free time.

And what will I do with all that time? 

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Things That Hold Things

For probably six years or so, I have developed a mildly passionate obsession for Things That Hold Things.  What do I mean by Things That Hold Things, you ask? I mean anyThing That is specifically elected to Hold another Thing. 

Pencil holders.

Desk-organizational thingies.

Anything cute with a drawer

Bins.

Jars.

Waste Paper Baskets.

You name it. I love it. Take me to Office Max, and that’s the first place I’ll go and drool. Opening and closing drawers, imagining what I could put in this box, in that container, just besieged and smiling at all the Stuff That Holds Stuff. (Then I would head over to the Sharpie aisle, but that’s a different story.)

[Disregard the Dwight Bobblehead. I just wanted to show it off.]

I recently added to my collection by purchasing something called The Really Useful Box.  And I have to say, this Thing That Holds Things actually is a Really Useful Box. At three by five inches, I could put anything in it. Anything in the world. Currently, it’s holding my Spanish flashcards.

[Hey there, gorgeous.]

And now there’s one less item that doesn’t have it’s own cute little place in my room. Ah, Things That Hold Things, I love you. I truly love you. 

Friday, September 18, 2009

Over the Handlebars

I’ve ridden my bike to class every fair-weather day for the past two years. I gingerly lean through sharp turns, pedal up and down hills with ease, maybe pop a wheelie three inches off the ground. I’m really good.
This week, however, the earth must have rotated a bit faster, the wind must have been a little bit stronger, or those darn landscapers must have moved the rock wall on that corner two inches to the right, because I fell off my bike.
Twice.
TWICE.
I felt like Calvin learning to ride his bike in the old comic strips. And when I fell, it wasn’t like a stumbled to the side and got back on, I was actually thrown over the handlebars.

The first time I was trying to run into Christie’s wheel with mine, got tangled up, and went flying. The second time, I ran into a rock wall on campus and, again, was thrown over my handlebars and crashed into the ground, slamming my shoulder on Christie’s wheel, and bending it. 
The wheel, not my shoulder.
I’m a little discouraged to get back on.  I’ve been told it’s just like riding a bike. That doesn’t really help.  

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Getting My Sweet Shop On

Next to the old Maid-Rite restaurant, there’s a small candy and ice cream shop in La Crosse called The Sweet Shop.  I took a trip there this summer with Christie.  Up until this summer, I had forgotten about it.  And I had forgotten that I had taken pictures of it until the writer of one of my favorite blogs wrote about her much loved ice cream shop in her hometown. So I’m copying her. No big deal, right?

When we got there, one of the employees—scratch that, insert “one of the two employees”—was out in front of the shop feeding almonds to squirrel. When we went inside, this man helped us decide what flavor of ice cream to get…

[Who wouldn’t buy ice cream from this guy?]
I bought cotton candy and fruit loops flavor. Real sophisticated. Christie got mint chocolate chip. (Ahem, loser.) 

Monday, September 14, 2009

It's Fall Over There


It’s not cold yet, but I can feel it approaching. The sumac is halfway red. I longingly look at the sweaters in my bottom drawer and my $30 Gap gift certificate that I will use to buy the itchiest, fluffiest, comfiest, warmest, coolest, fall sweater I’ve ever known is burning a hole in my pocket.

Fall’s coming.

Christie and I get excited to see the early-bloomers of colored leaves.  (I wonder if they are as envied by other trees as the early-bloomers in grade school were. Just a thought.)  “Look! It’s fall over there!” Christie says whenever we walk past a bright orange tree. It’s almost fall over by a tree right next to my dorm.

I’m past the [sigh] I wish summer would last forever stage and I’m thirsting for some crisp fall air and leaves to crunch under my bicycle tires. Bring on the cold, Minnesota! I know you can do it! 

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Choo choo

I love taking the train.

I’m currently sitting in the viewing car #11 on the Amtrak passenger train to La Crosse. It’s 8:30 a.m., first-time riders are stumbling past me in the aisle and sleeper car passengers are dragging themselves out of bed in time to get the last breakfast sandwich at the snack bar. I’m drinking an apple juice, completely distracted from my homework by the conversations happening around me, and I’m having the time of my life.

Believe me, I’m not a morning person. Waking up to get anywhere by 7:50 a.m. would usually cause nothing but chagrin with me. However, when I get to take the sunrise train from MSP (Minneapolis/St. Paul) station to LSE (La Crosse…this is all train lingo, by the way) station, I’m energized like never before.

There’s just something about the train.

I wonder if the man sitting across from me reading Moneyball, by Michael Lewis can concentrate on the book when he has iPod earbuds in his ears. Maybe he’s playing the audio version of Moneyball and is reading along.

I wonder if the 60-something woman sitting with her 60-something giggling and gossiping friends at the table behind me will ever learn how to play the game of Hearts they’re noisily teaching her, all the while laughing and snorting at her inability to remember the rules.

The elderly people sitting kitty-corner to me want nothing more than to have a conversation with someone. Maybe they’re riding the train for the first time in a long, long time, and they just want to share their excitement. The young guy sitting across from them, however, seems grumpy and unwilling to talk. Look my way, elderly couple.

Conversations never cease to be interesting on the train. I’ve met a woman suffering from a past-midlife crisis who decided to ride around the country on the train. I met a hypnotist-turned-psychologist-turned-pastor-turned-loaner who did his best to make me accept Jesus into my heart. And I just learned that the iPod guy sitting across from me is a financial advisor for a school district in St. Louis, Missouri.

Like I said, there’s just something about the train. Something that makes people be willing to tell their life stories to complete strangers and then ask their names later. I love it.