I had this experience downtown today I’d like to share. I know, I know, I’m usually so guarded about telling personal tales, but if I could shake things up a little? Thanks. So I’m downtown, about a block from the picture above. That’s part of the new Nicollet Mall redesign, which was intended to be a spare clean Scandahoovian-type thing, crisp and orderly with sporadically-placed items of interest. It is, in fact, boring. It’s so boring. It’s boring and stupid. The mirrored things serve no function. They don’t shelter. They don’t highlight anything. They just carve up the view below into slices, and since the view below is the sidewalk, no one looks up. The sterility of the thing is quite remarkable. It’s almost as if they designed it to get everyone comfortable with the idea of euthanasia. Eh, not much going on in this world, can’t quite see the point.

I ducked into IDS, which I suppose got some looks since I was waddling and quacking loudly, and for some reason decided to go to the Nordstrom’s Rack. There were more people in the store than I expected - for that matter, more in the Crystal Court. The donut store has opened, and had a line at 1 PM. A few empty shops have been filled. It felt more normal than ever. The men’s department was in the “Concourse” level, and I should note that this has been a dead space forever. The original design of the IDS Concourse had movie theaters and bars down there, but as usually happens with subterranean spaces, people did not want to live in a failed Gene Roddenberry pilot. I think Walgreens had it last.

The Rack is the cast-off odd-lot maybe-damaged stuff. There was an entire rack of Tommy Bahama, in case you wanted to be a 59-year old guy with a gut and a cigar and a lot of money and a certain strange vacancy in your core that has morphed into genial cynicism and quiet despair, periodically lightened by Jimmy Buffett concerts. Which is fine, but the shirts run too big for my tastes. And they’re expensive, even when half-price. Everything else was a bit too much as well. But I found a T-shirt I liked for $11.69, and went to the fitting room to try it on. Big mirror, for ruthless, pitiless self-examination. Well, I’ve been working out and have changed my diet somewhat, so I can take it.

Oh, do tell us! Everyone’s always fascinated by other people’s regimens. Okay. I eliminated breakfast cereal. Big deal, who doesn’t? Eventually? No no I mean I cut it out. I replaced it with scrambled eggs topped with Pico de Gallo.

Every morning?

Yes. I know, it sounds like a lot of work. You have to get out the eggs, break them, wreck them, poke the stuff so it doesn’t burn. But I use the pre-liquified egg stuff that comes in a carton, heap it with the aforementioned tomatoes and onions, add a pinch of cheese, and it’s fantastic. I also cut out evening popcorn and ice cream. Took three months, but I moved to a different hole on the belt.

So do your worst, big mirror. The T-shirt looked good. I bought it.

Point is, I don’t think I’ve bought clothing downtown in 15 years. I don’t know anyone who has.

May I indulge in a bit more parental pride? I was watching the last episode of Succession the other night. Daughter loves this show, and finds it fascinating for the endless jostling of personalities and the quality of the writing. I like it about 87% as much as she does.

There was a scene in which two of the siblings deal with the utter human wreck of their brother, and this tableau struck me so much I snapped a picture.

It’s an image of consolation and suppression. I texted it to Natalie around 1 AM knowing she’d see it tomorrow, and want to talk about the season finale. Which is neither here nor there. But there was a reason that configuration stood out, and I swore I’d seen it somewhere. Yes: a tweet long ago, where she’d recreated the moment. Not a trace, but an original drawing, using the show as a reference of course.

I mention this because I said the other day she was pretty good at the writing thing, and I also think she’s pretty good at the drawing thing, too.



I didn't make it to any of the locations this week. I just shot some other places. The trees up in the Northstar garden have turned:

I found a new view in a deserted part of the office. The usual urban abstract.



I think Lance should've given this one to Tiny. Make him feel like he's a smart guy.

Solution is here.



From a Suspense episode aired in 1944. You-know-who played several of the roles with all the usual accents.


So he had a rep for packing it on by '44? Interesting.

This year we're counting down the top hits . . . of 1922. Why not?

Another hit from the Whiteman band, and this one's got more pep and purpose than most of the songs we've heard this year. (For a good reason.) It's "Do It Again." See if you can figure out where that phrase appears. When you hear the chorus, you know there had to be lyrics for this one.


Indeed there were. By Ira. Ergo the tune's by who? Of course.

Here they are. Sing along if you like!


I'm shopping for a new bed. It's a chore. Was it better in 1979? Yes, because willowy blondes sang about your choices in a Love Boat style.





That'll do! A new feature awaits below, and I hope you like it, since it'll be closing out Friday for seven weeks.




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