Weisman Art Museum and my fall crush

Long, cold winter–all is forgiven! I can’t stay upset about the weather in Minnesota when the autumn has been so amazing. Yesterday at dusk the street by my house flooded with variegated colors of pumpkin orange, peach and pink. I enjoyed the horizon over the College Park tennis courts as I walked to catch a bus. I was joining friends for a visit to the Weisman Art Museum (WAM) at the University of Minnesota. Last night WAM threw a party called Wanderlust, a celebration of their fall exhibitions that all focus on travel whether by train, custom bike or imagination. Continue Reading

Plant a flower, save a bee

It isn’t just about sweet, sweet honey. Honeybees have been in the news a lot because of decline. But pollinators of all kinds are affected by habitat loss, pesticide use and disease. Pollinators include butterflies, moths, hummingbirds, honeybees (as European as the settlers who brought them to the Americas) as well as native bees, about 4000 species. Continue Reading

Robert Karimi hosts an evening of very spicy poetry at the Lowertown Reading Jam

The titillating title of the latest Lowertown Reading Jam (April 23) went for high stimulation–sex, food, and the simmering anger behind microaggressions. Robert Farid Karimi, a local poet and performer known as “the People’s Cook,” composed the evening and even brought food to the menu at Black Dog Cafe (a dash of za’atar to olive oil for bread) and set a bottle of “very hot salsa” on each table. He passed out latex gloves encouraging everyone to “Be safe!” before embarking on an evening of risky poetry. Continue Reading

Who do you think you are? Queer voices: GLBT reading series at Intermedia Arts explores what is lost and found

There is a kind of losing where everything is found. It struck me with some force the other night listening to the writers reading for Intermedia Arts Queer Voices series that many of the authors were writing about loss. Some wrote with humor, some with anger, fatigue, tears and acceptance. One wrote about the loss of his long hair while searching for the haircut that would express who he really felt he was. Another wrote about the loss of a special group of friends who came together as pioneering lesbian parents only to lose that bond as their children grew up, others wrote about the loss of religion and the loss of health to HIV and cancer. But there was also a sense that through that loss some essential things were found and acknowledged. Not only was a sense of self affirmed but also a sense of humanity, as children, parents, loners and lovers. Continue Reading

Button Poetry presents an event worth its weight in ice and snow

Last night I took a few moments to kick the stalactites from behind the tires of my car and to reconsider my outing before driving on roads that were better suited to ice skates. It was the kind of evening I could have spent near the wood stove with a blanket and a television remote. But I was motivated. There was a not-to-be missed roster of poets performing at Fox Egg Studio, a small storefront on 37th and Chicago Avenue, that included Donte Collins, IBé and Wang Ping. Continue Reading

From Moby Dick to Flipper: the film Blackfish brings back memories

I was home sick yesterday, swaddled in polar fleece, sipping Phở Tái and channel surfing. I decided to watch the recently released movie Blackfish on Apple TV. This documentary about killer whales that perform at theme parks like SeaWorld brought to mind my life-long attraction to animals that interact with humans in ways that are–well, human. I grew up with Robbie, a black and brown dog I adored. I watched and wept over heart-tugging TV shows like Lassie and Flipper. And even though I was just old enough to find Dr. Doolittle–the Rex Harrison musical film version–rather ridiculous, the idea that animals had languages we could learn and that would enable us to connect peacefully with them made deep, personal sense to me. Continue Reading