Part I - The day I met atthestarz
Part II - The day I met hockeyfag
Part III - The Minneapolis Shoe Tree
Part IV - Twin Cities From the Air
My last evening in Minneapolis was spent with atthestarz. She had recently purchased the recent Nirvana box-set which comes with a DVD of super-early stuff before they "broke" on the radio in 1991. While at times I think atthestarz grew a little bored with it, it was interesting to see Cobain and Novoselic jamming through a set list with Dale Crover in someone's house in 1987... or some of their early shows at record stores and in small clubs. I also was treated to my first viewing of the VH-1 show Motormouth. If you've never seen it, it's basically a hidden-camera show that catches people singing along to songs in their car.
Fucking genius. It was absolutely hilarious... mostly because, while some of the things people did were kind of extreme, all of us have done it... in the car, in front of the mirror, our bedroom a concert stage. It was one of the funniest things I've seen on Tv in a long, long time.
I want to thank atthestarz profusely for her hospitality. She opened her home to me and made me feel welcome. She even got me a birthday card! She put up with my nervous energy mini-dances, mild zings about her TLC addiction, and idiosyncratic speech patterns for three days. She even had a pack of Dr. Pepper chilled and waiting for me in the fridge. She surely knows the path to this geek's gratitude. Should any of you ever have the pleasure to meet her, I guarantee that, while somewhat quiet and reserved, she is a charming and intelligent woman with a good sense for things which are aesthetically pleasing to the eye - becoming of someone studying the visual arts. She posseses an earnest graciousness which is readily apparent, always quick to make you feel comfortable, probably a result of her background in psychology. It's not something she does intentionally, rather, it's a natural proclivity for making one feel at ease; her choice of words, the tone of her voice, and the spirit of inclusion with which she conducts herself. She also has a great, dry, sense of humor, a trait which is the culprit in our late night IM shenanigans and a complete delight when she's not too bashful to let it show in person. And while she may be quiet and reserved, there are some rare moments when she can get animated and down-right chatty. I've already remarked extensively on her foxiness... but just in case you have forgotten...
As for hockeyfag... too bad I'm not gay. He's a total gadget nerd, a former trucker, and an amateur pilot to boot. If he'd shown up with a bottle of whiskey, a concert T-shirt, and an Ipod filled with interesting indie-rock to listen to I... well it might have been enough to make a man re-consider his sexuality. Kidding aside, I found him to be a bit of an enigmatic cat befitting his politically conservative, gun-enthusiast, sports-jock with an openly gay status. Certainly not cut from a very common fabric in the American patchwork, which makes him all the more interesting as a person. I tend to gravitate toward off-beat people and hockeyfag certainly fits that description. Don't take it as some sort of back-handed insult... most people are sheep. It's the people who carve their own psyche and personality indepndent of conventional paramaters that make life interesting. I can't say that I understand how he could support a political party whose poster boy would call him a "homoseckshool", but I respect the cajones it must take to operate in some of his social circles. He must catch some shit for it, I would think. I try to picture a corrollary or converse, say, a soccer-mom showing pictures to her sewing circle of her march in a gay-pride parade - it just doesn't compute. That little phrase "subvert the dominant paradigm" that I love so much? This is exactly what it's about. Whether it's by design or naturally occuring, it's the bucking of tradition that makes people reconsider pre-concieved notions and forces them to either change the way they think or further confirm their feelings about something. hockeyfag is a walking, talking contradiction to the pre-conceptions people have about what it means to be "gay", "gun-enthusiast", "conservative", "Republican", "jock", "trucker", "pilot", and whatever other label you want to try and stick on him. To quote a Primus song:
And now I will dispense with the gratuitous and shameless comment whoring from my Minneapolis companions and leave the rest of you with a hodge-podge of photos from the weekend that I liked for various reasons.
I'll take your photo for ya... drive you around the corner
I wanna feel you from the inside
My pansy ass trying to look rock and roll in the Frankenstein jacket.
The smoke stack strikes back.
Gold Medal Flour sign.
The things our pets will endure for their masters.
Somebody didn't pay their gas bill.
Home of the dough boy.
Ariel's wildcat impression.
All together, I had a wonderful time in Minneapolis. I look forward to doing it again some time when it's warmer. Much, much warmer.