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Sep. 9th, 2011



Been meaning to recount this scene of rare and wonderful awesome dorkitude on my part...

Scene: Elevator, end of day when people are leaving work.

Players: Me and a few co-workers

Co-worker: "So, did you win any battles today?"

Me: Thinking, hemming and hawing, then smiling, "No, because the only way to win is not to play."

All: Awe at my rocking and appropriate War Games reference.

(And yes, I know that's not an exact quote from the movie, but it was good enough for the elevator crowd.)
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Jun. 15th, 2011


Shutdown letter

Here's the letter the gov sent to me and my fellow ~36,000 state employees today, it's not very exciting, but I figured it was worth sharing:

Dear Fellow Public Employees,

This weekend you received notices that, unless a budget is enacted by July 1st, state government will shut down most of its operations. Most of you would be laid off or placed on an unpaid leave of absence until government operations resume. This was an extremely difficult decision for everyone involved; however, we had no choice but to begin planning for this possibility.

As a precaution, we have identified the most critical government services, which we believe must continue even in a shutdown. Today we have submitted this list to the Ramsey County District Court, which ultimately will decide what services will continue past July 1st, if a shutdown occurs.

I consider virtually all services provided by the state to be essential, and all of them have been established by previous governors and legislatures to serve and benefit the people of Minnesota. My decisions were not based upon personal preferences or policy considerations. Rather, they were instructed by the words of the Minnesota Constitution, which states clearly: “No money shall be paid out of the treasury of this state except in pursuance of an appropriation by law.” (Article XI, Sect. 1.) Thus my decisions were based entirely upon which functions of state government are so critical to protecting the lives and safety of the people of Minnesota, or which, if terminated, would cause such disorder or severe statewide economic impact, that they should be made exceptions to the Constitution’s clear prohibition.

I know that I speak for my entire cabinet when I say that we greatly value you and all of our state’s dedicated employees. We deeply appreciate your hard work and the high-quality services you provide to millions of Minnesotans. It is precisely those Minnesotans, those services, and your ability to deliver them, for which I am negotiating.

I will continue to do everything I possibly can to reach a compromise and a balanced budget agreement in time to avert a shutdown. I believe that you – and everyone in our state government - provide very important services to Minnesotans, and I will continue to defend you.

The last several weeks have been, and the next few weeks will be, extremely difficult for you and other state employees. I thank you. Like you, I look forward getting to resolving this crisis as soon as possible and moving ahead to our shared commitment to build a better Minnesota.

My best regards.

Mark Dayton

May. 30th, 2011


Northern Spark next weekend

Okay kids...I'm not much of a night owl but this sounds too neat to miss:

From the Northern Spark website:

Northern Spark is a new MN Festival modeled on a nuit blanche or “white night” festival—a dusk to dawn participatory art event along the Mississippi and surrounding areas. It will take place the evening of June 4 (sunset 8:55 pm) till the morning of June 5, 2011 (sunrise 5:28 am).

Northern Spark will include a diversity of art forms and projects including multi-story projections, audio environments with vistas, floating works on barges, houseboats and paddleboats, headphone concerts, and the use of everything from bioluminescent algae and sewer pipes for organs to more traditional media such as banjos and puppets.

There is magic in the night, when the familiar, like the city skyline, becomes majestic, and a starry sky can transport the imagination. One’s senses are heightened, attuned to the slightest noise or even the smell of the nearby river in a way that seems not so common in daylight. One’s regular bus ride or walking over the threshold of a building visited hundreds of times before becomes exotic and otherworldly at 3 am.

It is in this context that more than 200 artists are presenting 100 installations and performances for Northern Spark from the top of the Foshay Tower to boat rides along the Mississippi to light sculptures and projections to performances galore, including car horn and brass band fanfares, color guards, river dancing, sewer pipe organs, lullabies, and storytelling. Perusing this site will introduce you to the rich variety of offerings that will bloom for one night only. It is not our goal to take over the night like some giant big top tent, but to join it. We meet the city halfway. As you walk or ride a bike or take the bus from one venue to another, see and appreciate your surroundings with new eyes and ears. Celebrate one of the great rivers of the world through two magnificent cities and enjoy the next artistic intervention you come across. It’s an adventure. You make your own journey.

Dec. 22nd, 2010


Today's WTF Moment

So, I walk to work the four blocks through the ample slush, glad I wore high heels keeping my pant cuffs mostly off the ground. However, when I get to my office I notice with annoyance that my left cuff did get pretty wet. I figure I walked funny or stepped in a particularly slushy spot and that's why it's only the left one, I mostly forget about it. At 12:30 I go down to the gym to work out and remember the cuff mystery, I take off my pants, hold them up, and discover that my left pant leg is like 2 inches longer than my right one! I examine the hem, did it come undone? No, both cuffs are hemmed exactly the same, it's as if the left leg got the "tall" inseam and the right did not! Luckily it's not very noticeable (this isn't the first time I've worn these pants, but I obviously wasn't observant enough to notice before) and I'm sure the place I bought them will fix or replace them, but...weird!

Aug. 9th, 2010


Last month for the Bedlam in the West Bank

As you may or may not know, the wonderful Bedlam Theatre has to move out of its current location at the beginning of September. Although not entirely a surprise it's sure a bummer, since their West Bank space had so many neat features. They’re certainly not shutting down for good, they’re already looking for new temporary and permanent spaces. And, they’re hoping to go out with a bang in the West Bank – I encourage everyone to stop by the Bedlam one or two more times this month, catch a show or have a drink or dinner, or even volunteer (you can even help make their delicious pierogis!) if you can.

Say goodbye to this Bedlam, and wish them well in their search for a new, and even better, venue!

Jul. 6th, 2010


Harry and the Potters in Minneapolis -- Tomorrow!

Harry and the Potters are coming to town for an all-ages show at the Bedlam on Friday. Bring your kids, bring your parents, bring your friends!

Jun. 19th, 2010


"I'm Comic Sans, Asshole"

Unabashedly linking to this awesomeness.

Jun. 16th, 2010



FYI for local peeps: I've updated the "Things to do in the Twin Cities" calendar with some of the movies and food events going on in the next few months.

(I don't add stuff to the calendar that I don't find interesting myself, so it's certainly not comprehensive. On the flip side, if you want to hang out, the stuff on the calendar is stuff I'd be interested in going to, if I'm available.)

Also, Open Eye Figure Theater's "Driveway Tour" has a lot of free performances this summer in neighborhoods all over the cities. I'm not adding these to the calendar because there are so many, but keep them in mind particularly if you have kids or like puppets!

Feb. 3rd, 2010


Important Business Lady (TM)

I just finished the fifth of the five meetings I had today. That makes 13 in three days (a total of nine hours), which I'm pretty sure is a personal record for me. I’m tired, but not totally exhausted, I think partly because most of these meetings were actually productive or at least informative, and not those stupid pointless meetings that make me want to tear out my hair.

(The most major of these meetings was today: a brief presentation to the Commissioner and Assistant Commissioners during their weekly meeting. I wasn’t that nervous and felt prepared, but I still had a bit of that out of body “I’m talking but I’m not sure if I’m saying things that make sense” experience. Luckily the person I was presenting with seemed to keep his wits about him, and claims I did fine.)

I’m not sure whether this job is a net gain for my health or not; I’m certainly more stressed and feel overwhelmed more often than I used to, but I also feel more fulfilled and like I’m contributing something important. Here’s hoping they keep finding money to fund my position!

Jan. 11th, 2010



Just realized it's a binary AND palindrome day!

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