How about that:  I stay away from the news and the internet and talk radio, and the market goes up 500 points. So I’m the one to blame. Apologies to all; I will repeat the experiment tomorrow.

It’ll be easy to do, too. My desultory attitude towards work continues – with full ferocity! I’ve delayed a certain project while I A) find a cheaper alternative, and B) remind myself why the heck I want to do it. Monday will bring clarity, but trust me, you will be surprised.

I don’t know why I’m being so lazy. Natalie upbraids me for it, every morning: today I failed to zip up her backpack, which meant the foodstuffs could tumble to the ground. I explained that this was her department, but she has an AM crankiness that rivals the mood I used to have when I went home to Fargo in college. Of course, back then I was having nicotine deprivation; don’t know what her excuse is.  We'll have to cut back on the Choco-Frosted Winston Pops, and see how that works.

Actually, I know exactly why I’m being lazy. I have six screeds cued, and a place for them, but it costs money, and the alternative is going through that blog-installation nightmare I attempted a while ago, AND I remain haunted by two comments I encountered on sites a few weeks ago:

A) I can’t stand when he writes about that stuff, I wish he’d write about the other stuff, and B) I can’t stand when he writes about that other stuff, I wish he’d write about THAT stuff. End result: another bucket of pablum, room temp! Enjoy.

There’s an empty storefront in the coffee shop’s strip mall. In between a Sprint store and a tiny-shiny-crap-for-the-house store. I walk past it weekly, and I have no idea what was there. Obviously I was not alone.

Asked the coffee-making guy – they’re not baristas here, and would probably find the term condescending, as if I pitied their job and used an upscale term to assure them I really didn’t think they were all jake-jockeys – and he said it was a Sociale. Ah. It’s a place that  . . . has something to do with do with food, although I’ll be damned if I know what. It’s one of those places that half-way makes your food, I think. You do the rest. “Let’s Dish” is another example, and I suspect more successful. The food’s good and the portions generous and the name just gives the patrons license to get together for a hen-party.

The coffee shop is doing fine, though. There are six people in the phone store at nighttime in the burbs. The mall was sparsely populated, but that’s the case most of the time these days. Southdale, the nation’s first, is sagging. One of the anchors closed a few years ago, and they can’t fill the space; the area next to it is the Abercrombie & Fitch, surrounded by heavy black shutters that give off the GO AWAY PARENTS vibe of a teen’s closed bedroom door; the Crate and Barrel decamped for the upscale mall a block to the south. I don’t care. It’s still my mall. I know it will come back. I’ll never give up hope. I will make tearful YouTube videos if anyone criticizes the place. IT’S BEEN THROUGH SO MUCH! STOP THE HATE! The view from the parking lot at 7 PM:


The new Westin Hotel and Condo, bitterly opposed by some. Why? Because it’s tall. People who moved out here didn’t want tall buildings.

Went to get my hair cut. The nasty sullen stylist wasn’t in, hoorah. The lass who cut my hair was new to me, so we had to find some common conversational ground. Settled on dogs. Then I learned she’d been a stylist on a cruise ship, so that opened up a vast rich rolling field of discursive opportunities . . . or so I thought. Turns out it’s a bit like cutting hair in a mall, except sometimes it rocks back and forth a bit. The drive home after your shift is quicker, though.

After the haircut I got a book Natalie has requested – part of a 946-volume series about talkative, clannish cats. I spent some time examining the rest of the books in the YA section, looking for my own niche. I think Fish Pirates is open, as well as Yugoslav Amoebas with Magic Powers. Perhaps a series about a world where all the kids have magic powers, and then some interesting, conflicted, smart, resourceful kids discover they don’t have any powers at all.

Today’s Minneapolis update is a bit frustrating, because all the photos were taken from the same vantage point. It’s all I have, but I don’t know what more there is to say. Except this:

The people who moved the quickest made the least impression. Something to consider. It’s a detail from the Woolworth Building, one of the few buildings constructed in the Twin Cities in the 30s. Preview:

Isn’t it remarkable how the stripped-down style coincided with lean times, eh? There’s a certain monastic simplicity to Depression Moderne, but it never looks cheap or sad – there’s a muted element of rebuke, but it looks forward to a clean efficient era that finds beauty in the simplest lines. Streamlined rocketships, circular TV screens, boxy robots. (The Boxy Robots are playing at First Av this weekend, I think.)  Unlike the post-war styles that refused to play nice with neighbors, it looks good next to something fussy; streetscapes should have penguins and peacocks. The glassy skyscrapers owed nothing to their neighbors, and barely offered them the courtesy of reflecting their images until the all-glass curtainwalls of the 70s. I love some of the great 60s skyscrapers, but they often don’t look like they belong where they’re sitting. Only when they’ve reproduced excessively to do they belong, and only because they’ve knocked down the competition, and can crowd the sky crowing the same flat notes.

In a few years the replacement for the Woolworth building will be older than the Woolworth building was when it was demolished. Both would still look modern today. As you’ll see.

One more detail: Some like it hot. Some hate it windy.

The full site is here. Enjoy! See you at - diminished in the morn, but I intend to blog the 2-hour e-mail training session in the afternoon.