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Monthly Archives: December 2010

WINTER DOESN’T START ‘TIL TOMORROW. So it’s far too soon for griping about snow, cold and the city’s Emergency Parking Rules. Yes, 17 inches is a top-5 snowfall record and the sidewalks are like walled mazes for lab rats. But snotcicles and bleak ice mountains are our reality for the next four months. Deal with it.

Chocolate, booze and caffeine are getting us through so far. We’re in talks about a “coffee crop share” with the neighbors, dividing up a 20-pound bag of beans from our favorite local roaster as soon as they offer such a thing. Whatever gets you through the white.

Going to a Solstice Party tomorrow (grog, bonfire, full moon) after which extra daylight will accrue and 35 ever-lengthening days will fly by until Sarah and I wake up in a villa in Old San Juan. My wind-chapped skin flushes at the thought.

Where was I? Oh, un-blogged bizness. Here: music, backgammon and Instant Netflix in Des Moines with Lola Plum and Family.

The Flat Earth Brewery tour with Lucas, Tats and John, one of fall’s last hurrahs. I recommend their Belgian growlers.

Spotted off the interstate near Williams, Iowa.

Minneapolis ruinscape on the last full moon.

Johanna’s four birthdays in glass.

Comrade Austin paid us a holiday visit from Beijing, first time I’ve seen him since my 2008 trip. We braved the glaciers to go to my favorite dive, Palmer’s on the West Bank, only to encounter an open-mic comedy night so vile, people fled en masse and bar personnel were shaking their heads in disgust. The jokes were uniformly mean, sick and unfunny. Which means we repeated them dozens of times throughout the weekend.

My sister entertaining old Marines with Happy Days-era karaoke.

Cutting even looser at her 33rd birthday.

Laugh Attack inside Goldsworthy’s cairns at the Des Moines Art Center.

Late-night letterpress…

… and more Make Sh!t shenanigans.

Christmas In July with my grandfather, Charles Klima, his great-grandchildren and haunch of annoying lab. Now back to Christmas In Antarctica.

>> Captain Beefheart (R.I.P. Don Van Vliet) – The Host The Ghost The Most Holy
>> The New Pornographers – The Slow Descent into Alcoholism
>> Charlie Parr – Coffee’s Gone Cold

I’LL TAKE YOUR INSPIRATION, THANKS. Since my friend Witt quit his job to be a stay-at-home Dad by day and earn a Graphic Design degree by night, I’ve been feeling jealous. His assignments, which have him parlaying scraps of artistic influence (Baldessari, Steve Powers, Bruce Conner) into his own collages, books and zines, are impressing the hell out of me. And his enthusiasm’s contagious.

Witt’s total reinvention is a bus-length too far for me to jump. But I’ll take new creative outlets and encouragement any day. That’s the idea behind “Make Sh!t,” a weekly hands-on free-for-all in St. Paul hosted (so far) by Craig, media concierge and analogue bon vivant. Four sessions in, our motivation is in full effect, if not our vision, craftsmanship or originality.

Witt inks up Craig’s old letterpress to make birth announcements for Lil’ Ella. Not sure he got the prints he wanted, but purple ink found its way onto every hand and shoe sole.

I bring Xeroxes from home to collage. Here, Angler’s Guide to North American Fish meets the Golden Book of Guns.

Going ballistic with the gluestick.

Plenty of beer to Make Sh!t, consumed with and without a clamp prosthesis.

Slide manipulations.

Things got dissonant last week. Paul and Craig shred with atonal axes.

As close as we got to a groove.

I grimace when I’m really feelin’ it, man.

Found hallway sculpture, 12:30 a.m. Another productive Make Sh!t Thursday.

>> Roxy Music – Re-make Re-model