Monday, July 12, 2010

The Sky is Upon Us

Happy belated Independence weekend everybody! The 4th up here in Minneapolis was a nice time. The weather people  had been saying all weekend that there was a chance of showers on the 4th, and the clouds certainly looked to fit the part.

Rachel and I had planned to head over to a fellow CTEP-ers house for a BBQ and decided to bike over. I brought steaks and beer, only to discover that I was the lone meatatarian at the party. Oh well, more steaks for me! We had a good time at the party, talking about lots of different topics and ending with games of Mad Gab and Can Google Translate This?

We then biked into downtown to watch the fireworks. I had never done this and it felt  pretty bad ass to be biking around the traffic and crowds on our way to our destination. We ended up watching the show at St Anthony Main, and we were pretty close to the action. The show was relatively short, only about 15 minutes if that, but the people seemed to enjoy it.

We then headed over to the Soap Factory for the 10 Second Film Festival. The Soap Factory is a great arts venue in downtown and festival is a collection of 10 second submissions from all over the world. It was pretty casual and irreverent- the judges bowed to the will of the crowd on almost every decision, probably due to the fact that there were a lot of no-shows for the winners. This led to certain films (STICKS!) winning in very different categories and pretty much every film with actual artistic merit being left out in the cold. Still, it was entertaining and there were some pretty cool submissions in every category (including the awesomely named Mindless Violence). The films should be up on the website soon if you want to take a gander.

Image from City Pages and Taste of Minnesota

As mentioned previously, Rachel won a pair of tickets to the Taste of Minnesota festival thanks to the Nomad's World Cup festivities, so we decided to go on Monday. Since it hadn't rained the night before, all of the weather people were predicting doom and gloom for Monday, and the dark clouds we saw hovering over the fair certainly didn't prove them wrong. Almost as soon as we walked into the park it started raining, then pouring. The vendors were great and let us shelter under their tents until our food was prepared, then we scurried over to the tent where the bands were playing.

The first band was pretty good- had a certain Caribbean sound to it and at one point they had an extended section where they did improvisational beats on cowbells that was actually good. Then the Heirospecs came on and they were AWESOME. A St Paul band through and through they had plenty of references to the local area in their songs. They had a cool rapping style and some great beatboxing talents when need be. Every song seemed to be a different musical style, and they were uniformly good. Rachel and I have decided that we need to get their album now.

Image from and the band Heiruspecs
After the Heirospecs show the rain let up somewhat, allowing us to journey home once again. We decided to spend our evening cleaning and packing up stuff from our room, which led to plenty of dust flying around and a forest of cardboard to spring up in our living room. Thank God for storage lockers...

Speaking of rain, it's been raining indoors for quite a while now! Jason, his dad and a team of carpenters are busy dismantling our roof and hopefully installing a new one... but they keep on running into more and more unseen complications because our house is weird. Basically there have been iterations of construction since the 1920s, and none of the previous owners seem to know anything about architecture. Wiring is a crazy mishmash of styles, the supporting beams are incorrectly put in place, and a wall sinks a little along the roof... lots of stuff. So we've been living with blue tarp and plywood over our heads, but it hasn't been as secure as we'd like. So our kitchen occasionally turns into a mystical waterfall, and the near daily rain hasn't helped matters much. Oh well, should be great once it's finished.

I've spoken enough, but I've got more to blog about. So until next time...

"The rain is famous for falling on the just and unjust alike, but if I had the management of such affairs I would rain softly and sweetly on the just, but if I caught a sample of the unjust out doors I would drown him."
- quoted in My Father Mark Twain, Clara Clemens

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