Dim days

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

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