ST. PAUL NOTES | Drumming up community at Kopplin's

More than a dozen drums of all shapes and sizes line the sidewalk on Marshall Avenue outside a storefront. The drummers, too, come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and ages. It's Tuesday night, and time for the weekly drum circle in front of Kopplin's Café (2038 Marshall Avenue, St. Paul).

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Consider the ape

As a kid, weekends meant hanging at my dad's apartment. Most Saturdays were spent watching old movies on TV. When "Planet of the Apes" or any of its manifestations played, I sidled up to the black and white set with a bowl of chips and a bottle of strawberry Pop Shoppe, happy to share the afternoon with Charlton and Roddy. I've always loved a good ape movie.

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Memoirs of an 80s Minneapolis Slacker: Fear and loafing in the Whittier neighborhood, '79 - '86

In 1979 we saw, near the southwest corner of Whittier, an excellent pre-internet publicity stunt: on the exterior wall of the Yukon Club, then a 3.2 joint at Grand and Lake, a frame in which posters for events at the bar should have appeared. Within the frame, handwritten, it said: “Live. The Pistons. But not here.”

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Only kindness matters

I have been thinking a lot about kindness. You know, me and Jewel.

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The rhetoric of harm

Someone on facebook posted a link to You Are Triggering Me! The Neo-Liberal Rhetoric of Harm, Danger and Trauma. It's by Jack Haberstam, someone I don't know, but I liked a lot of the essay, and I linked to it, saying the following:

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This week in Saint Paul: Speaking of summer July 7–13, 2014

I am already feeling nostalgic for summer, for some good reasons and for reasons that are, well, the sepia-colored-glasses–type of recalling. We sure have had our share of rain, and like life, sometimes that rain brings flooding and other disaster. Maybe it’s time to sing the Blues, or maybe it’s time to see what is happening on the town. Be sure to check out our Almanac arts calendar.

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Am I proud of America?

We could see the St. Paul fireworks clearly from our livingroom, plus two more distant fireworks. Very nice. We did not like the two rockets set off in the street next to our building by some idiot, which wizzed up and exploded just above us. Another idiot was continuously yelling, maybe in response to the fireworks, though it sounded as if he were saying, 'I am here. For God's sake notice me.' I like fireworks, though I don't go out of my way to see them.

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Flood sketching and a modest/awesome riverfront proposal

Roberta and I did a lot of sketching of the flooding in Downtown Saint Paul. We wanted to document the changing landscape as water gradually replaced land. There’s a slideshow of our flood sketches at the PiPress. Here’s one of the sketches I did from the Robert Street Bridge of the Port of Saint Paul’s Lowertown Landing submerged beneath the roiling Mississippi River [above].

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7 symbols of home

I enjoy the work of Gretchen Rubin– the happiness guru who packages ideas about living well in tidy lists and chapters. Maybe that sounds kind of treacly, but because she is up front about her own limits, bad habits and preferences, the reader may embrace his or her own preferences, recognize limits, and challenge – and even change – bad habits that contribute to crankiness and a less joyful life.

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Lonesome Valley: Orphaned kittens complicate summer

With the warmer weather, I was really starting to like retirement. I was enjoying breakfast outside on the patio while other people were rushing off to work. I was working daily in my garden, off and on during the day, cooking something on the grill, and maybe catching a movie in the evening. That was all before Frosty, Smokey, Stormy, Stripy, and Spotty took over my life.

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