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Family Visit to Occupy MN by Ann Treacy
October 21, 2011, 4:55 pm
Filed under: Minneapolis

We had an interesting Sunday last week. We went to the Mall of American where we saw Anne Burrell (from the Food Network) and Duff McKagan (from Guns n Roses) signing their books. Then we headed to the OccupyMN demonstration.

The girls were not necessarily thrilled to be going to a demonstration – since our last one was the RNC. I promised there would be no guns here, which they did not believe – luckily I was right.

Occupy MN was interesting. We were there during a quiet time, which gave us a better opportunity to check out everything. Everyone is camped out by the Government Building. There appear to be a hard-core group of people who are there full time, a group of people who probably come and go throughout the day – and then looky loos, like us. I have to give credit – we were welcomed in a friendly matter and folks were quick to thank us for our support. Nice!

I got a picture of the Committee Board, which I think gives a really good idea of how things seem to be down there. There are committees to handle different aspects of demonstration life – from food to sanitation to poster boards. There was a “teach in” going on while we were there. In essence it looked like a teacher (volunteer with knowledge or expertise) was sharing their knowledge with anyone who wanted to take part.

We ran into a friend there – RuthAnn. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that RuthAnn is north of 60. She’s a librarian and she has been on site for a few hours every day. She confirmed that we were there during a quiet time. She said most folks seemed pretty supportive of the effort – the exception being some Vikings fans who suggested that maybe the demonstrators get a job. But that’s some – not all of the fans – many were supportive.

It would be interesting to know how many of the demonstrators do have jobs – clearly the full timers probably don’t – but I suspect many other do work (or are retired, or are students).

I noticed that there were marketing and cohesive message committees. That would be a tough climb – as the Occupy Wall Street manifesto seems a little all over the place – although maybe that’s a reflection on society being a little all over the place right now.

Pumpkin Trebuchet at Pumpkinland by Ann Treacy
October 21, 2011, 4:50 pm
Filed under: Minneapolis

The girls, Grandpa and I made our annual pilgrimage to Pumpkinland. We’ve been going for a few years. Grandpa and I are prepared for the year that the girls aren’t so interested – but as soon as we saw signs of fall, all three start asking about Pumpkinland.

There are some generational differences in trip highlights – but I’ll try to be fair in my summary.

We get to see (and hold!) baby chicks and bunnies. You know how grandpa and I are suckers for cute and fluffy! You get to ride in a go-cart kind of thing down a hill. Really I could spend my whole day doing that. Then there are contests – like sack races – ask me who the winner was. You can swing on the hay bale thing – if you’re under 14. And best of all is the pumpkin trebuchet. We love seeing the pumpkin catapult into the lake. Love to hear the explanation of how it works each year.

This year was definitely the warmest trip yet. It was unseasonably warm and we went a little earlier than usual. No stopping at Wal-Mart for mitten this year.

We also stopped by the largest ball of twine – in Darwin, MN. We love seeing that and playing on the playground across the street – where they have old school seesaws. Someone usually gets hurt and we are reminded why most places have safetied up community playgrounds.

We capped off the day to a visit to the cemetery – where my grandparents are buried.

A fun family tradition!

Imelda Mary by Ann Treacy
October 10, 2011, 2:13 am
Filed under: Minneapolis

Last week we went to see Imelda May. We kind of discovered her over the summer; she is from Dublin. I had hoped she would play while we were in Ireland. No luck – but when we got home we saw that she was planning to play here.

Imelda May plays rockabilly. She was great. As Patrick put it – she did a stadium performance in a night club setting.

Weisman Art Reopening by Ann Treacy
October 10, 2011, 2:06 am
Filed under: Minneapolis

The Weisman Art Museum is the very funky building on the University of Minnesota campus. It overlooks the River and has been closed for a long time. They reopened in October and we were there for it.

Aine and I were super into it. Patrick and Kate were not. Aine and I got brand new silk screened T-shirts. They did not. Aine and I saw all of the art. They did not.

Patrick meets Seamus Heaney by Ann Treacy
October 10, 2011, 2:03 am
Filed under: Minneapolis

Patrick and I attended opening night of the Burial at Thebes at the Guthrie Theater. Opening nights always include a little reception – think free wine or champagne. And think attended by people link the playwright – who was Seamus Heaney.

Guthrie artistic director Joe Dowling introduced Patrick (and me but that’s not such a big deal) to Seamus Heaney. In the picture, Patrick is actually standing near Seamus and is talking to his wife.

More work Fun by Ann Treacy
October 10, 2011, 2:02 am
Filed under: Minnesota

OK it may seem sad that I have more than one post that’s work related. It’s a sign of a few things – September was very busy work-wise, I like my work and home life was pretty status quo.

I spent one week on the road touring small towns and hearing about their fun work with broadband. (You can check my work blog is you want those stories.) But here you can see the great pictures we took. Special nod to my friend Mary who turned to see the gnomes of Dawson faster than you can say Jack Robinson.

TEDx1000 Lakes by Ann Treacy
October 10, 2011, 1:56 am
Filed under: Minnesota

As most readers will know – I work a lot of hours. I love what I do but some days are better than others. The highlight of my year was Tweeting at the TEDx conference in Detroit Lakes. It was the best. There were about a dozen speakers. The event was super classy. The talks were very thoughtful.

You can check out most of my thoughts on the TEDx web site or Tweets – but I will say that I thought Chuck Marohn was a standout speaker.

He spoke about the difference between a road and a street. A road gets you from A to B. A street is part of the community infrastructure. You meet your neighbors on a street. You talk to folks on a street. And streets are a vital part of community vitality that have been lost to development.

I just realized that I totally blew it not having someone take my picture on the stage. Maybe next year.

$99 Art Sale at the Soap Factory by Ann Treacy
October 10, 2011, 1:54 am
Filed under: Minneapolis

My favorite art event of the year is the $99 Art Sale at the Soap Factory. They get artists from all walks of life to create unsigned art. The art is all the same size and the price is $99. You buy it ‘cause you like it – then you tell you who the artist is. Then you research the artists to see if you have any taste.

My bit of sadness is that they changed the size of art this year. It’s bigger – not like 8 x 11. More is not always better.

I got a fun picture of Patrick by the modern art. I think it’s his future. (The grey beard, not modern art!)

First Day of School by Ann Treacy
October 10, 2011, 1:52 am
Filed under: St Paul

‘nuff said.

Super Toxic Make Your Own Balloons by Ann Treacy
October 10, 2011, 1:51 am
Filed under: St Paul

Do you remember tubes of plastic you could use to make balloons? They came in primary color and the deal was that you squirt out a blob, put it on the end of a straw and out it up? If you used these you can probably remember the very strong, very toxic smell. It kind of make me light headed just to think about it.

Well we found this for sales in Hamley’s in London and saved it to share with our cousins. They were as much fun as we remembered – in that it’s nearly impossible to blow up the balloons. They are weirdly slimy and sticky and after about 20 minutes you feel a little sick and dizzy.

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