Archived Posts from this Category
Archived Posts from this Category
For perhaps obvious reasons, this month’s list has been a little harder to write up. And the most important item was also the hardest to find any good words for at all. The pictures will have to do.
Nine days late, I know, but it’s been a busy week or so.
As before, these are in no particular order . . . except for #1.
One of the most amazing little serendipitous moments of . . . well . . . who knows how long? And way too sweet not to mention here.
Was out with a couple of friends, celebrating a birthday (not mine). The Super Bowl was not an official part of anyone’s agenda though, as it turns out, all three of us were rooting for New Orleans. Even the birthday girl, who’s not a football fan. At halftime, we leave the bar we’d been and start walking back to where 2 of the 3 of us had parked their cars. And we hear this noise up ahead from several blocks away.
We get closer, and it sounds vaguely like a Mardi Gras parade. There’s music. Horns. Shouting.
Bear in mind, this is Minneapolis. In February. And it’s snowing. So we figure that can’t possibly be the case.
We get closer still. And, yes. There’s a small brass band standing in an alleyway. There are a dozen people dressed in black and gold (Saints colors, for those who are not NFL-savvy) dancing in the street, having the time of the fuckin’ lives.
This is one of the reasons I love Minneapolis.
Better still, it’s one of the reasons I love N’awlins. Even though I’ve never lived there. I can’t think of any other city in the US that could generate enough passion and love and community and loyalty to have people dancing in the snow like that. Not for people who were 1000 miles from home, anyway.
Yesterday, my car was involved in an accident. Sort of. It was parked on the street in front of the house at the front end of a series of three vehicles. Someone managed to drive their car into the back rear corner of the truck at the back end of that line. They did a serious bit of damage to their own car. The truck, at least from what I could see from inside the house, appeared to be virtually unscathed. But the force of the collision seemed to push it forward a notch into the car that was parked directly behind mine . . . which, in turn, was pushed forward into my rear bumper. No one was in my car at the time. Neither Margaret nor I talked with the police officers who showed up to handle the accident. And if there was any real damage to my car, it’s the sort of damage that only shows up much later when one discovers that one’s rear end alignment is slightly out of whack.
Today , I received a phone call from City Chiropractors. The woman on the other end of the line asked for me by name. She said that I’d been involved in an accident yesterday and wanted to know if I needed their services. I said (in effect), “What the fuck?”
As far as I can tell, the best explanation so far (if we want to assume that Minneapolis’ Finest aren’t getting kickbacks from selling information to local businesses, anyway) is that the officer of record on the scene ran my license plate number in the course of filing his/her report . . . and then mentioned me by name in said report. Which meant that my name showed up in the public record of the accident . . . and that trolling lawyers and chiropractors could then call me at home the next day to see if I wanted to avail myself of their services.
I hadn’t planned for this entry to be entirely about my friend Nikki. And, after a fashion, it’s not really all about Nikki. But it’s been a day where multiple circumstances have had a strong Nikki aura to them, so it only makes sense to put a name to that.
I’ve been meaning to post about the Cultural Studies Now conference and my trip to London ever since I got back . . . but Margaret’s mother arrived for a week’s visit three hours after I got back . . . and then three hours before she left, the roofers showed up to start what turned out to be a three-day job that drove Margaret and I out of the house for much of the duration (have you ever tried to write coherent prose while half a dozen men pounded on the ceiling directly above you for hours on end?) . . . and then three hours or so after the roofers were done, the I-35W bridge collapsed . . . which has been its own distraction for the past 24 hours or so, partially for the “disaster porn” that goes along with tragedies of this sort, but mostly because of the varied and multiple rounds of “checking in” that have taken place since last night.
Sometime over the past week, I did actually manage to HTMLify my presentation from the conference, but let me save a more detailed report on the event as a whole for a later post. For now, I’m still processing the bridge collapse. So far, at least, no one from my circle of friends and colleagues and acquaintances was on/under the bridge at the crucial moment yesterday . . . but given the where and when of the situation, it’s still perfectly plausible that someone I know wasn’t so lucky, and I simply don’t know it yet. The bridge is — was — right next to campus, and I-35W is the major north-south highway running through Minneapolis. I didn’t use that bridge every day, but it also wouldn’t have been unusual for me to have done so: I crossed it at least twice last week, walked by it on two other occasions, and was more or less right around the corner a mere hour before it fell.
For me, though, I think the biggest chunk of my “there but for the grace of Elvis” reaction to yesterday’s tragedy is the fact that Minneapolis is very much a river-straddling city. Unlike, say, St. Louis or Memphis, where the river marks the line between the city and the suburbs (and not always the most desirable of suburbs either) and one can plausibly spend years living and working in the area without ever needing to cross a bridge, here the river pretty much runs through the heart of things. I’m sure there must be people in town whose lives are such that they rarely have to cross the river, but I suspect they’re the exception, rather than the rule. There are six or seven different bridges across the Mississippi that I might use on any given day for any number of reasons, and I can easily need to cross the river a dozen times (or more) every week. I’m not exactly worried about crossing those bridges again — the odds that a bridge that’s stood for decades will crumble at precisely the moment you’re on it are still pretty damned small — but I’m also mindful of the fact that I could very easily have been on the I-35W bridge at the wrong time yesterday . . . or that those long odds might’ve kicked in during any of the other bridge-crossing moments that routinely happen.
On Monday, March 25, the high in Minneapolis was 81 degrees. Record for the day. Two degrees shy of the record for the month. I don’t think anyone had any illusions that we’d simply bypassed spring and headed straight into summer for good — or even that we’d seen the last of temps in the 30s and 40s. But spring appeared to have well and truly sprung.
It’s snowing today. For the second time since that balmy March Monday. And we haven’t seen the sunny side of 50 in more than a week. This does not make me happy.