Monday, December 29, 2003

Home improvement and holidays do not mix. Count on quadruple the time you think it should take to refinish floors, especially if a nasty virus is involved. Even when using the correct tool for removing base trim, count on damaged walls, split and splintered trim and gauged knuckles. Most importantly don't watch home improvement shows, they lead to grandiose thinking and the need to make changes.

Instead, spend holidays sleeping, watching Firefly and Pirates of the Carribean on DVD, listening to great holiday gift CDs and reading good books.

Off to Erie and Alan's family for the week. New Year's Eve will be spent with Chris and Elad(!) getting down in Youngstown.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Just in case you missed it.

IAF Website

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

The 19th annual statewide Homeless Memorial Service will be this Thursday, December 18th. A walk from Project Offstreets/Youthlink, 41 N. 12th St., Minneapolis. will begin at 5:00 pm. Marchers will walk in silence, carrying signs stating the name, age and city of the people who have died. The service will begin at Simpson United Methodist Church at 2740 1st Ave. S. at 6:00 pm. A free community meal will be in the shelter downstairs at 7:30 pm. Last year, 150 people walked in procession down Nicollet Mall before the Holidazzle parade. 500 people attended the service and 250 attended the meal. The service in 2002 remembered 95 people from 13 areas of our state (Plymouth, Prosper, Red Wing, So. St. Paul, Winona, Virginia, Minneapolis, St. Paul, Mankato, Duluth, Apple Valley, Filmore County and Hennepin County). The youngest person we recognized was a 6 week-old girl and the oldest, an 82 year-old man. The National Coalition for the Homeless began inviting States in 1990 to hold services to honor people who had died. This year we'll be remembering over 100 people. Our focus this year is homeless children and unaccompanied youth. Much of the service will include participation from the homeless youth community. With dramatic funding cuts to youth, we remember that while most who died this year were adults (nine youth died in 2002), the second leading indicator of homelessness in adults is the experience of homelessness as a child. The service this year will include guest speaker, Bishop Richard Pates, of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, a candle lighting and reading of names for each person who died and an open time for people to share memories and reflections. Music will be provided by the Progressive Missionary Baptist Youth Choir under the direction of Twin Cities musician Jevetta Steele Dickerson. The holiday season can be a time of great indulgence. May we all gather to recognize the lives of others as we would want our own to be. For further information, contact Monica Nilsson, Shelter Director, Simpson Housing Services at 612.874.8683 x209.

Everyone welcome!

You can reach Project Offstreets from downtown Minneapolis by heading west on 11th Street, crossing over Hennepin/Hawthorne, etc., and past the turn for Salvation Army Harbor Lights/Secure Waiting. You take a left onto 12th Street and you will see Project Offstreets on your right. The march will begin promptly at 5:00 p.m. and will follow a route to Nicollet Avenue and then south to 28th Street. You can join the march anywhere along the route. The service follows at Simpson United Methodist Church (2740 1st Avenue S - on the northeast corner of 28th Street and First Avenue South) at 6:00 p.m. The community meal following the service will be in the basement dining room.

We will have only limited transportation from Simpson to get to Offstreets;
those who can arrange for a carpool will help speed the process in starting
the march. Offstreets offers a warm place to wait inside. We will have a van for a few trips to the beginning of the march and for a few trips back to Offstreets after the community meal, but again, in a somewhat limited fashion.

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Will wanted me to post a dream I had last week. I’m not sure why, although I have been compelled to tell it to a few people already. I apologize to those who have been forced to sit through it before. It might be an example of lucid dreaming. You'll have to tell me. Will and Alan tell me I dream differently than they do. I remember a lot of my dreams and they tend to be very detailed. Some of them are fully plotted, material generating, fantastic extravaganzas. I've had some dreams that seemed so vivid and real that I've had to fight to remember afterwards that they were just dreams and not memories of things that have happened.

Thursday night, I started dreaming about being up at my parents' cabin in the woods in northern Wisconsin. I went outside the cabin and there were some big concrete drain pipes resting on the hill and some kind of contractor walking around them.

An aside here: [Ever since the land around our cabin was sold, I’ve been having dreams about the land being developed right next door. They’ve mostly been bad dreams about big tree tearing, earth ripping machines and clear-cutting. We were really spoiled for years and years because the owner of the land lived a few lots down and only sold land to people he liked or only when he needed the money. The lot he sold my parents was the last one that he sold on that end of the property. We had empty woods on our side all the way to the end of the lake, where there were a few hidden cabins. Behind us, the forest was undeveloped all the way back to a small lake. Its mostly deciduous trees (elm, quaking aspen, poplar, oak, and birch) with most of the white pine having been logged out over a hundred years ago. It was enough woods for us to play and explore and not run into anyone else, but not big enough to really ever get lost since you hit water or road eventually – believe me, we tried. When the owner and his wife died, the land passed to her son. A few more lots between us were developed but nothing past us. It went to his children when he died. Now a new big road has been added and the lots are selling and being built. We don’t have anyone within sight of us, yet, but it’s expected to happen sometime soon. It must be causing me a little anxiety if I keep dreaming about it.]

Before I had to do anything about the guy or the pipes, my dad walked around the side of the cabin and I realized I could leave it to him. At this point, a dog ran by me down the path towards the lake. When he stopped about twenty feet away, he changed from being a big black dog to my old dog, Burt, who was put down this past summer. I stopped in the dream at this point and said to myself that I was going to ignore the guy and the pipes and wherever the dream was going and just watch Burt. It was vivid. Burt seemed as real as he ever had been. A minute later, my dad made the same decision and joined me. I was very comfortably hanging from a tree branch with my arms wrapped around it from underneath with my elbows pointing downhill at the dog and my chin resting on my fists. I remember thinking, only in a dream could I make this position work. Burt was only sniffing around and licking himself but we were both enjoying watching him just be himself. After a while, I decided to test the limits of the dream, I guess I wanted more, and got down in a crouch with my arms open wide and called Burt. He came bounding up the hill and started licking me and it felt so real. I don’t remember what happened after that. When I woke the next morning, the dream was, and is still, as fresh as a memory.

I haven't talked to my dad about this, yet. I'm meeting him for lunch tomorrow and I'll let you know if he has anything to add.

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

Argh! My post just disappeared. This is a sign from heaven. This is a sign that I need to leave work. I am going to attempt to drive home now, but am starting to really crash from the monster cold. Alan, if I'm not home by 8 p.m. come find me.