One full week back in non-Doctor Who action and I feel a little like we have a hang-over. I’m not quite sure we have fallen back into things just yet. And this picture of my Gram wearing a bow tie covered dress isn’t helping. It’s just so damn adorable.
RIP, Grandma Ann, you feisty lady. I secretly like to imagine her running around space and time with the Doctor in this dress. Speaking of RIP, I’m so sad that Roger Ebert died. He was a gem.
“We are put on this planet only once, and to limit ourselves to the familiar is a crime against our minds.” - RIP @ebertchicago
I may not have agreed with him about every movie, but he was always insightful and never mean. You could always count on Ebert to write genuinely brilliant words on any subject, but he was especially beautiful when he wrote about film. I will miss hurrying off to his website as soon as a movie was over. See you at the movies, Rog.
Here’s some good stuff this week… and yes, I’m going WAY over four things this week, because it’s been a while since we have gone through this exercise together.
It’s official. I’ve charged it. I’m going to London in September. Woop. Woop. Woop. Woop. That’s why I’m thankful for:
1. Making Plans.
I have been trying to figure out when I was going to be able to go back to the United Kingdom for 5 years. I’ve taken the first official step this week: I bought some event tickets.
I’ve talked before about my love of travel, but going abroad is always special to me. I can’t wait.
2. Constructive discourse.
I have received a lot of messages in the last 24 hours from other Sherlock Holmes fans who disagreed or had a different point of view on Elementary than me. I appreciate the smart notes and thought I’d share a few here:
Re: Sherlock being violent, I think it needs to be considered that the Sherlock they’re going for here is one at the very beginning of his story (he’s only just met Watson) so he’s still sort of becoming ‘The Great Sherlock Holmes’ character. At least that’s how I see it and that is because so much of Elementary is about Sherlock improving himself. From drugs and by learning from other mistakes - the violence is a part of that. Before he did real harm, he realised he was in the wrong.
You are within your right to not like a show, but I have to argue because you seemed to have missed the point a bit. The “doing the same thing every episode” is a hallmark of a procedural, which is what this is. If you don’t like those that’s fine, but it’s weird to say it’s the shows fault. It’s the format. That being said, I think all of the character development has been really strong. Sherlock isn’t a simple person - he has a broken heart, an anger at having a loved one robbed from him.
What do you think? Have I got it all wrong? Either way, it’s fun to hear what other people see in the story or their perspective on Holmes.
3. Jennifer Lawrence’s Golden Globes Acceptance speech.
What can I say? She’s a gem.
4. My cousin Aaron.
It’s his birthday today. And he’s freaking adorable and has the best dance moves of any dude I know. It would be weird to say I have a favorite cousin, but Aaron is always in the running.
Happy Birthday, Aaron!
This week, I scribed these pieces for Apartment Therapy. Go read ‘em!
I am not a “night life” person. Most Saturday nights for me involve watching a movie on my couch with popcorn on my legging wearing lap. Usually, my boyfriend is reading some insanely nerdy book nearby and the fireplace is glowing. This is how two Midwesterners survive the winter together.
But every once in a while, my girlfriends and I shine our dancing shoes, slip on some bling and put on our game face. This time was a little different though. Our game face meant zeroing in on A and B buttons and our purses were heavy with shiny silver Washingtons. Or quarters, if you will.
Insert Coin(s) is a new vintage arcade mixed with a dance club. Plus some wireless modern gaming if you can afford bottle service. It’s only the second in the country, the first is in Las Vegas, and it’s definitely found a good home in Minneapolis. We are an artsy, nerdy and fun-loving crowd the clientele definitely represented this.
I’ll be the first to admit: this concept works. Sure, I was sucking it up at Super Mario Bros because I was very busy swaying my hips to the loud Top 100 beats - but it was fun. Sub-standard gaming abilities aside, it turns out buzzed Space Invaders is more hilarious than regular Space Invaders. Who knew? And if you ever found yourself thinking, Pac-Man could be drastically improved with a Ke$ha track, well, this is your testing ground for that theory. (Yes, it’s better. Oddly.)
This ladies night out was made even more fun, because drunk nerdy boys dancing like robots and cowboys on acid is a surprisingly uncommon site in most bars around here. Not to generalize, but we’re a reserved and stoic people. It was honestly a 50/50 split between ladies and gents on the dance floor and I had more fun dancing there than I have at most “rave” style clubs.
Pickup line of the night goes to a dude who zeroed in on my lovely friend MM. His exact words: “You’d have to gain 100 pounds before you’d ever consider going out with me.”
Dude, what? Just buy us a round on NBA Jam. Quit dissing yourself and show us your skillz.
A couple of thoughts on how Insert Coin(s) could be improved:
1. The Lady Dancers: I really hate this about all nightclubs, but for some reason it all just seems so lazy here. The dudes working at the club wear dashing suits and the women are wearing cut up bikini tops and glow sticks. They are “crowd pleasers” or something of the type. On top of that, there were these barkeep girls in blue bustiers that were so tight, I wondered how they could even bend over. If you want girls to be dressed up and looking ridiculous, why not play into your theme and go for full on Cosplay? There are so many sexy video game themed ladies you could start with: Lara Croft, Jill Valentine or Samus Aran. The possibilities are really endless and they would make a girl like me much more excited about those gyrating hips.
2. Hand Sanitizer: Have you heard? The flu is going around in Minnesota. Suddenly, those Frogger controls look like a contagion area.
3. Coat Check: It’s 0 degrees here right now. There is NO way you can go from car to club without catching pneumonia. I had to start a dance party in line for my coat because it took 45 minutes before I got my hands on my down blanket with sleeves. Get a systems engineer in there and streamline that shit.
If you live in the Twin Cities or you are just visiting for the weekend, I recommend Insert Coin(s). Get a roll of quarters, pack the hand sanitizer and set a new record on Galaga.
In case you noticed, I was MIA yesterday. That’s because I was flying back from NOLA after weekending with my boyf. Yes, we ate beignets. Yes, we walked down Bourbon Street. Yes, we ate and drank and lived merrily.
And as we do in the modern age, I instagrammed the whole thing. Here’s some of my favorites. I’ve been thinking a lot about whether or not this connectivity and access everywhere we go is good or bad for experiencing life as it happens. I haven’t decided.
So even though I haven’t figure it out, taking time away reminds me of some important things. Here’s what I know for sure:
After 5 years, I still like my dude. Like, a lot.
Direct flights are the way to go.
I judge airports on whether or not they offer free WiFi.
Donuts are not my thing. Frozen Cafe Au Lait is a winner though.
Sleep is the key to enjoying any vacation.
And I still love shooting photography, so more pics to comes.
Well, it’s my birthday. That means cake (or in my case, pie) and presents and Facebook messages.
But for me, every year when I turn one year older, I can’t help but think of the new places I’ve seen in the 365 days since my last birth anniversary. This year has been mighty productive. Like a patriotic caravan in the Prairie Home Companion, TJ and my brother and I have seen a lot of new corners of the US of A. And we’ve revisited some familiar territory too.
Los Angeles. Laguna Niguel. Orange County. Salt Lake City. Madison. Cornucopia. Bayfield. Duluth. Spring Green. Ely. The Dells. Dallas. Fort Worth.
Ultimately, thinking about where I’ve been gets me noodling on where I’d like to go next. And this year, I’m dreaming really, really big. Some people make “life lists” or “bucket lists” - I make travel lists. As I’ve expressed before, my mind has a fixation on places and my heart has a longing for the unknown. And of course my camera lens always loves a new muse.
In the last year, I’ve had a friend who went and dubbed it “real life Disney Land,” my mom has twice given me magazines with Budapest imagery on the cover and three movies featured the lovely city. It seems like a message to my Passport: go to Budapest.
TJ has been totally vexed by my sudden fixation on the Hungarian city, but after nearly five years together, he’s starting to understand that my stubbornness is part of the issue here. I mean just look at the Széchenyi Baths and Castle Hill. I have a good feeling about Budapest.
Philosopher and Saint, the Blessed Augustine once said:
If there is even one morsel of worthwhile knowledge in my head, it’s the fact that there is nothing more valuable to the spirit than seeing something new. It makes you appreciate the wonder of the unknown while making you value the certain knowns of your life; your home, family and friends.
There’s a reason that Tolkien made Lord of the Rings a travel log. And Game of Thrones thrives in moments of wandering. And Doctor Who visits different planets and galaxies and black holes. Creators put their characters into these situations so that the unknown within themselves can be revealed to us.
While wandering through England in 2007, I had up to that point in my life never truly been in love. There was a freedom to this, but there’s something strange about the human mind before love has made its mark. I NEVER worried. Or fretted. It’s part immaturity and part youth. And so I did things at random without a plan all. the. time.
I woke up one Saturday in May with a hunch that I might like Stonehenge and hopped a train. I had no idea how you got from the train station in Bath to the rocks on the hillside. I didn’t know how much it would cost. Or if I could even afford it. Truly, it didn’t matter. I was going to see this marvel of the past, although I didn’t entirely know why.
I’m older and wiser now, sure. But it’s this openness of mind and heart that I seek when I travel. Sure, it’s about the sites. And the food. And the beautiful photos. (Repeat after me: it’s NEVER about the t-shirt.) But ultimately, it’s the unveiling of my potential, my opinions, my feelings and my future that I treasure most. It’s like all my favorite stories. It’s a journey. And at this point in life with my love and better planning skills, it’s a romance and a comedy and admittedly, a drama too.
And yes, I did get to Stonehenge. And it was worth it.