Friday I dropped my laptop on my foot, and broke it. I can probably break down the audience here into two types: those who wonder if I am limping, and those who are sad about the laptop. I tried rebooting it, and it declined to advance beyond the logo and the loading indicator. Ran a diagnostic, and after nine hours it reported more bad blocks than the Bronx in 1972. SMART disk status: FUBAR. Tried to reinstall the OS; fatal errors.
In the middle of this procedure my wife notes that her phone is acting up; some of the numbers don’t work.
“Did you drop it on your foot?” She did not. “Did you drop it on my foot? Because that seems to be a pattern here.” She had not dropped it. Some googling revealed that others had this problem as well, but if you google “my ear turned black after I listened to opera after eating prawns” you will find people who had this problem as well. But there was enough trouble to indicate that the phone was FUBAR.
Off to the Apple Store, then. I explained that I could put in a new hard drive, but it’s really tricky with this model. Right? I’m still a man. TELL ME I’M STILL A MAN. Then he called up some internal secret documents on the phone, and said they’d give me a new one. Free.
It’s the golden age of returning phones to Apple, I tell you!
Friday night I didn’t do much, because I had to get up at an ungodly hour Saturday to watch wife and child run. Wife has gotten back into running; want daughter to experience the joys. Daughter, like me as a child, regards running as something to be done only if fleeing tigers. But she’s game, and I’m encouraging, and so up and off we went. The run was around one of the lakes:
What a beautiful city. I was hitherto unfamiliar with running culture, and got a load: everyone is to be encouraged and urged on, which lead to the initially surprising sight of a woman walking along the path shouting WOOO RUNNERS! to absolute strangers. Or “finish strong!” to the last people trickling in 10 minutes after the first runner completed the 10K. Then it was the kid’s run, and since parents were invited I got in the huge wad of humans and waited for the starting gun. Well, not a gun; that would send a wrong message. I think they release a dove now and shout “DOVE.” The entire mass lurched forward, and after 3 seconds I almost bowled over a tiny little girl who was facing the wrong way, crying. So I stopped and formed an Immoveable Shield, and crab-walked her out of the torrent to the sidelines. So ended my running for the day.
Home for scones, then off to a postcard show in Eagan. Fifty-one dealers. Good Lord. I ended up with a batch of motel postcards – since it’s still summer, I’ll be posting them later – and four enormous McCall’s magazines from the 20s and 30s, things of absolute beauty. And more, including an inexplicable cigar band I’ll put up later this week.
Because my wife has this strange idea we should get out of the house and do things, we got out of the house and did a thing – attended the fireworks down by the river. First, we went to the Mill City Museum, a flour-centric exhibit installed in the ruins of an old mill.
Love that place. Even more so for the items they had in a cabinet of recipe books, as the image at the top of the page shows. I am less happy about the new Guthrie, which decided it wanted to have nothing to do with the historical district in which it resides, and sticks out a black metal tongue to the river:
Then we walked across the Stone Arch Bridge, which was already filled with people who’d staked out positions earlier in the evening. Walked over to the other side of the river, and yes, this is the city:
On the way back from the Hennepin bridge we entered the Commercial Zone, where food in its carnival form was proffered for the multitudes: a walleye truck had a sign that said WINNER WINNER WALLEYE DINNER, which made me smile and grimace: nice twist, but the original phrase always annoyed. There are possibly two people in the world who can carry off the phrase “Winner, winner, chicken dinner.” One is Bill Murray. I have never met the second one. There were brats, cheese curds, pizza trucks – and that last one reminded me of the earlier contrusion with Domino’s. Twice we had ordered a pizza with extra-large pepperoni. Twice it had arrived without the extra large. See, the order is calibrated to hit everyone’s preferences, and my daughter will only have pepperoni, so: her half has pepperoni and extra-large pepperoni. But twice the pizza has arrived without.
“I’m going to call them,” I said.
“No, Dad, don’t! It’s okay! Don’t make a fuss about it.”
“Honey, a manager would want to know these things.”
So I called, and explained, and the manager asked if I ordered online. I said that I did, modern-type person that I was. That’s the problem. Extra-large has been discontinued, but it’s still on the online menu. Can you tell me what the printout on the bottom of the box said? I noted that it had elided the extra-large issue altogether. So the problem wasn’t on their end. He offered to comp me a pizza, but I said I didn’t want to have a bad effect on his customer-complaint stats. It wasn’t their fault. I don’t feel right about getting a free pizza when it’s not their fault. Crazy, I know, but it’s how I’m wired.
There was also a booth giving away free samples of Craisens and juice. We had some. The guy next to me in line stuffed fistfuls of free samples in his pockets. Then filled up the pockets in his cargo pants. My daughter must have caught my look of raised-Spock-eyebrow, because when she was thirsty and I said we could return to the Craisen juice stand, she said we’d already been there; wouldn’t be right to take more. I said she could take the cup I hadn’t taken. That worked.
Odd how these ethical examples manifest themselves.
Then we went to the Amex booth to have a seat. They wanted to know if I wanted to apply for a card. “Member since 1992,” I said, and the guy with the clipboard said “Awesome” and backed away, like he was in the presence of an ancient master or something. Then we returned to where we’d left Mommy, passing a bandshell with singers dressed in Target Red – they were the sponsors of the fireworks – and my daughter said “Eleanor Rigby, that’s the – oh!” What? She explained that the words sung by the singers had synced perfectly with the timing of the Gold – Bond – Flour blinking up in the sky, and it was just neat, that’s all, nevermind, I can’t explain.
Oh, but I knew what she meant. She’s ten. The world is a big strange wonderful place that’s completely understandable one moment, then throws some small lovely random synchronicity at you the next, and you start to realize that your understanding of things comes from the ability to assemble perception, recombine it, revel in your ability to adjudicate all this stuff. But you can’t say that. Not yet; you nod, and say “Cool.”
Because it is. So we walked on past the clowns – don’t look! Don’t make eye contact! they’ll steal your soul! – past the light-stick vendors, the camera nerds with tripods, the youths sprawled on blankets and old silent folk in folding chairs from 1967, the super-sized families eating nachos, the moms and harried dads with strollers, the goons, the dorks, the tat-slathered hipsters, the motorheads, the heavy-metal enthusiasts, all the people with whom you rarely share anything except the Fair and Target, and then we ended up back where we’d left Mom – who was sitting next to a woman from my office.
Big world. Small world. Dark world: they killed the streetlights when the fireworks began. It was a fine show, and the end – the usual everything-must-go extravaganza – made everyone on either side of the great broad Mississippi roar with primal delight; we leaned back in awe, showered with ash, eyes wide, mouths agape, howling the broad song of YEAAAAAHHHH as the detonations kicked us in the gut and the lights in the sky burned holes in your eyes. The end. From both sides of the river, Twain’s highway, a great yawp of gratitude poured up, and I grabbed my family and said GO.
I’d parked in the StarTribune lot, so beat the crowd, got on the highway, and were heading home in minutes. Stupid 70s disco on the radio; roll down the windows, turn up the radio, and drive. Man, it’s summer.
A very short video of the scenes can be found here. It’s 1:17, and is notable for one thing: it was entirely shot and mostly edited on a phone. Yes, this is the Modern World: you can capture life, trim it during the down time, and have a small movie in your hand before the event is almost over.
That was a grand day out.
Today: the LA Dining 1962 site is beginning to show signs of unexpected depth. I though I would just slap up the pages and leave it at that, but each little ad contains its own tiny secrets, some of which can be teased out of the vast deep of the Internet. Suddenly this project seems like more than scan-and-post; the 1962 Dining Guide is like a Rosetta Stone for explaining a place and time. It’s HERE; enjoy, and I’ll see you at Tumblr and PopCrush.
Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.
Click – and SAVE!
A Book I Recommend
The Distant Past
- May 2013
- April 2013
- March 2013
- February 2013
- January 2013
- December 2012
- November 2012
- October 2012
- September 2012
- August 2012
- July 2012
- June 2012
- May 2012
- April 2012
- November 2011
- October 2011
- September 2011
- August 2011
- July 2011
- June 2011
- May 2011
- April 2011
- March 2011
- February 2011
- January 2011
- December 2010
- November 2010
- October 2010
- September 2010
- August 2010
- July 2010
- June 2010
- May 2010
- April 2010
- March 2010
- February 2010
- January 2010
- December 2009
- November 2009
- October 2009
- September 2009
- August 2009
- July 2009
- June 2009
- May 2009
- April 2009
- March 2009
- February 2009
- January 2009
Untold Riches Await YouThis is just a fragment of the site, you know. Head HERE for the full menu. Enjoy!