Jerome, are you for real??? gerg and Marie's Halloween weekend

First of all, congrats to the Packers! I'm a sconnie bitch. Therefore, I represent for the Pack.

The weekend was packed full of goofy bits of shenanigans. On Friday night, gerg and I dolled ourselves up as Mork & Mindy and headed to a haunted house in St. Paul. Unfortunately, the haunted house failed to haunt us. The good news is that seville and wife Brandi joined us for the adventure. Seville's costume was a cinch, since he's probably the long lost twin of Project Runway's JAY!

After the not-so-haunted haunting, we beelined for the Town Talk Diner...we skipped supper to costume ourselves. Gerg devoured most of the Kitchen Sink burger and I delighted in the tempeh sandwich, seville smiled at himself with the grilled cheese, and Brandi nibbled on frickles and a beet salad. Thumbs up around that table. Seriously, folks, if you haven't sampled something at this joint, you've gotta check it out. The cocktail menu is expansive, and the bartenders delight in inventing customized cocktails. gerg is an old fashioned man; the bartenders whipped up an "old fashioned" martini for him not too long ago that was delightful and BOOZEY. Don't ignore the Adult Malts or the champagne service for 40's of High Life.

Another neighborhood gem!

(photo lifted from Bo Darville's beautiful collection of online images)

Town Talk Diner: 2707 1/2 E. Lake St., Minneapolis, 612-722-1312

Headed back to Wisco for a cousin's wedding on Saturday. In Halloween-style, the groom was a swashbuckling musketeer, and the bride was a perfect princess. My family was good to gerg, and so he was good to them. Mission, "gerg meets more of my family" was totally successful. Thanks to my sis, Mary, for the crucial hospitality!

On the drive back, we stopped at Castle Rock for a break and some climbing around. Didn't spot any wildlife, but noted that this leftover island from the ice age was pretty fuggin cool, and strange.

Got a hankering for soup on the way home, stopped at the Longfellow Grill for eats. Both of us sampled a cup of the curried carrot soup, which was very tasty, and fun, since it was served with Goldfish crackers. Gerg ate the cajun chicken apple salad, and I devoured my tilapia tacos (best fish tacos I've had next to my fav fish tacos sold at the Minneapolis Farmer's Market). In warm weather, we sit outside and take advantage of the direct view of the Ol' Mississippi. It's got neighborhood charm with a contemporary atmosphere. Anywho, last night, gerg and I took a spot at the end of the bar, and in walks Jerome, a 49 year-old character....

Jerome proceeds to tell us the following, with just a bit of prodding:
1) His "better half" recently died from West Nile after being bit by a mosquito after hurricane Katrina. In an attempt to spare him any pain, she embarked on a cruise with a friend after she discovered she was infected. 10 days later, she died. He was informed by a relative of her death. As a tribute to her, he purchased her house in Longfellow, and had just finished constructing a gigantic heart-shaped inspired terrace out of red granite, and had planted more than 500 daisy and tulip bulbs. We've got the address, so we're gonna check it out.

2) His father worked for the Queen of England, and was entitled to diplomatic passports; likewise was Jerome, who spent 20 years in Europe, spoke 19 languages/dialects, and had a diplomatic passport in association with his father. His training began at a young age at an international school.

3) He has the fourth largest collection of nomadic Arabic textiles in the world.

4) For nine years he worked as a sound engineer for bands such as AC/DC, Hall and Oates, and Jackson Brown.

5) He was contacted by the CIA due to his fluency in Arabic and French.

Hey Jerome, are you for real? Worldly stories that were too amazing and detailed not to be true, yet too fantastical to ever be! Coulda make a living sharing/spinning yarns, and ended up at the Longfellow, sipping curried carrot soup and chewing on fried cheese, sharing stories with two kids from Wisconsin. Not annoying, not pretentious, just sharing his adventures cuz we asked. We like our Southside neighborhood joint, despite some less-than-favorable reflections by other humans.

We sat here:

Longfellow Grill:
2990 West River Parkway Minneapolis, MN 55406 (612)721-2711

Broke the news to my family that I would be missing my first family Thanksgiving EVER to head out east to celebrate with human friends (including David and Dre) and visit gerg's human godson, Ferris (he's the monster in green). Family was okay with the news, and said, "Have fun in New York!" We're pumped!

"4 spicy polish, please!"

Last night, gerg and I headed over to Elliot Ave off of East 38th Street to feed Susan, the cat, for Paula and John during their scuba-diving escapade in South America.

On our way there, we passed a little market called "Everett's Foods - Meats" on E 38th St. The window had large, round, hand-made signs advertising "Lefse and Lingonberries!", "Smoked Salmon!", "Pumpkins - many sizes!" Since I wanted to buy some more carving pumpkins for a late night carve session, I asked gerg if we could stop at Everett's on the way back to our place. Plus, it was right next to this old-fashioned candy shop, but I'll get to that later.

Even upon getting out of the car in front of the store (parking was TOO easy), I could smell smoked pork chop wafting from the shop. Once we entered the small market, it became apparent that these folks knew meat. The aroma was of spicy sausages and bacon. We were looking for some fresh Italian pork sausage for a ragu I was fixin' to whip up for gerg's spaghetti dinner. We asked a butcher behind the counter (Jack?), who was very pleased with our request, "Oh, we just put some in the freezer, but it's very fresh, probably not even frozen yet!" The 6'3" blond, moutached, butcher-apron clad gentleman walked us over to the freezer case and proclaimed, "This will be perfect for your sauce. See, it has barely begun to freeze yet. Very fresh!"

Sausages, brisket, thick cut New York strip with the bone in, and every kind of sliced meat loaf and wurst you could want. Now, some of you will scoff, knowing that the only meat I eat is seafood and fish. I enjoy cooking meat; I cook meat for friends and family routinely, and I inquire about texture, consistency, moisture and flavor. Gerg said the Italian pork sausage was out of site, and I have no reason to doubt it. The people who walked up to that butcher knew the place and knew what they wanted. "4 spicy polish, please!" By-the-by, the pumpkins I bought were easy to carve and packed full of seeds, which Dre will be salting and baking soon.

Great service. Great-lookin meats. Great-tastin', according to gerg.
Everett's Foods - Meats 1833 East 38th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55407 (612) 729-6626
I looked for an url, but found only a couple of ">reviews of Everett's.

I like this one: "Everett's certainly did us right. We got a 10 lb brisket @ 3.98/lb and I can't complain. It was perfect. If you want to talk meat, be sure to speak to Jack. The young pups don't know 'deckle' from 'schmeckle'. I have yet to have a bad cut of meat from these folks - and I am uberpicky." by teamkitty


Now, about that candy!! Right next to Everett's, The Candy Jar, specializing in the hand-made stuff, enticed us with a billboard about coconut haystacks and caramel apples. We skipped in and purchased some treats for later, mostly from the chocolate case. Plus, we enjoyed free samples of fudge and jelly bellies while we waited for the adorable, wish-she-was-your-grandma, sweetie behind the counter to fill our order. We didn't spot any caramel apples, to my dismay, and then witnessed a interesting interaction.

She: "No caramel apples today?"
wish-she-was-your-grandma: "No, they're all gone and the new ones didn't come in yet."
She: "Awe NUTS!"
wish-she-was-your-grandma: "Tomorrow, they should be ready."

Apparently, they can't keep their caramel apples on the shelf! My dark chocolate dipped fairy food melted in my mouth. Gerg got a "grizzly" , which was basically a turtle turned inside out. A little messy, but very tasty, and the caramel must have been made with pure butter.

Candy Jar - (612) 721-3741
3805 Cedar Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55407
sorry, no url for this place either!

Two great shops on E 38th Street. Two more reasons South Minneapolis RULZ!

Hold the Water Blog

I want to start this post by acknowledging gerg's awxum handyman skilz. He can build and fix almost anything, it seems, and he's hot while he's doing it.

However, we have been battling with our new fridge all week! We can't seem to get the icemaker to make ice! gerg hooked up the plumbing whatnots, and still no ice. So, imagine my surprise when I came home yesterday to a flooded kitchen that resembled a murder scene.

I frantically called gerg to find out how to turn off the hose that was shooting water out from under our sink. I twisted every knob back and forth and managed to get the water to stop geysering. Then, I took the dogs outside and almost started sobbing. However, I kept my cool.
The water in the kitchen was red, due to a "bleeding" red rag rug that we keep in front of the sink. After hauling the rug out, dripping red water behind me, I mopped up the floor.

I then proceeded to the basement, where I surveyed a pile of water-logged boxes (mostly mine). The water was still draining from the ceiling, so I thought I'd let it subside before I went to work moving stuff. By the by, gerg came home; when I saw him I started crying. He gave me big hugs and assured me we'd get everything dried out.

We hauled the boxes out one-by-one and salvaged almost everything. My major concern is my coolio treadmill. It was waterlogged. Waiting to turn it on again until it dries out. My rare nude Madonna poster was RUINED. My awxum Herb Ritz poster is waterlogged. It wasn't destined to mount a wall in our house anyway...three next-to-nude men collecting seaweed.

We weren't in the mood to cook after all that, so gerg ordered Pizza Luce's new Ruby Rae pizza. We ordered half with veggie sausage for me, and half with the real stuff for the meat-eating man. I'm a big fan of "sauce on the top" styles of pizzas, so this one is a winner for me. I shall sample the leftovers for an upcoming lunch.

So, my stick shift driving lessons were postponed (scheduled for the Roosevelt School parking lot). Big ups to cBass, a local rokker and mathematician, who grabbed some extra paper towels for us. And a visit from our wacky pal, Liz, got me laughing again. She hates Kwan's new white loafers.

My old skool rave tapes are scattered around the garage drying. I hope the Dazy Skullz tape survives. I gotta hear it again!

A cool weekend in October

Weekend recap:

gerg and I headed to the Walker with a+d for the Heart of Darkness afterhours preview party. Althoff’s Solo für eine befallen Trompete was the highlight of the exhibit - gory, sexy, titillating, and unappetizing installation of bourgeois gone berserker. Target provided rad martinis called Targetinis. We watched some of Cameron Jamie's filmy work. I wish I could remember the name of the piece about the murderous marionette....headed home after that. Dre's feet were a mess, and a dinner of Lurcat french fries was tasty, but hurt my tummy. Silly me!

Saturday gerg and I hit the Leinenkugel Brewery Tour in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin with my sis and her new booty call. Sampled their new Apple Spice beer. Found out later it was the Honey Weiss flavored with apple and cinnamon. Think I'll pass this one up in the future. Some stuff I noted: at one point, Leinie's made ICE beer!?!?! Big Butt season is Jan.-March. Also, they had summer sausages shaped like beer bottles and flavored with beer. Headed to Sloopy's for a sammich before heading home. Ditched the joint during the second playing of "Friends in Low Places." Ouch! My ears!

Saturday night is detailed below. gerg killed me. It was the awxum.

Sunday, a rare Packer victory! Then, off to Fat Lorenzo's for stromboli, hoagies, and gelato. Good thing it was our only meal of the day. Tasty, but naughty!! Headed to Kowalski's for the necessities and noted thier Olive Oil sale. Not bad olive oil for a great price. Then bopped by the Lodahl's to visit the 6-month old twins and their parents. Their home will soon become a drool factory. Seriously, adorable though, and we got to check out Eric's new scooter. This all white, OLD Honda scooter is in primo condition. gerg took it for a test drive and came back smiling. Then gerg and I headed to the Acadia Cafe to check out Finnegan. Free parking at the Acadia, and tasty beers. Finnegan played lovely acoustic guitar. gerg enjoyed one of the Acadia's seasonal Bells beers. I helped myself to a Rogue Dead Guy Ale. NICE.

Monday night was punctuated by a visit to Home Depot where gerg and I collected everything necessary to hook up the icemaker in our new refrigerator. Neither of us being experts at plumbing, the chore took up the majority of the rest of the night. We had hoped to install our new garbage disposal as well, but that must come latron. We were pooped after hours of climbing in cabinets and connecting pipes.

Photo Shoot

Liz is in art school currently, used gerg and I as her photography victims this past Saturday night. She had an assignment for a photography class; she had to tell a story with her photo sequence.

She called and gave us the plot of the shoot. I was going to be arriving at his place for a date. Then he would murder me!

The story was told in seven shots. First: me getting ready for the date - putting on lipstick in the mirror; Second: me waiting for the train - we used the lightrail station at Nicollet Mall by Dreamgirls for the shot; Third: Me finding his name on the buzzer list at his apt. building (the above photo); Fourth: Him greeting me at the door with a rose; Fifth: Him romancing me - yanking on my fishnets. Sixth: him killing me - holding a napkin over my face (cyanide); Seventh: me dead on the floor - my legs sticking out from behind a trunk.

You can view the complete set of photos at

It was a hilarious and fun adventure for gerg and I. Working out lighting was the biggest hurdle. Darkness prevailed throughout the shots.

Plus, what with the previous decapitation on my birthday, this means that gerg's killed me twice this month!!


A community leadership program here in the Twin Cities is hosting several workshops to talk about reducing poverty by means of good leadership.

Anticipating a turnout of about 50 people per day, food was ordered to accomodate that many folks. Recruitment efforts were lax. 28 attended the first session. Food for 22 people will be thrown away. The vendor claims there's nothing they can do with the food besides throw it away.

29 years ago...

I was born!! We celebrated my big day with pumpkin carving, caramel apples, (you can see the recipe at Minneapolcrock.blogspot) and a lovely dinner for gerg and I at the Oceanaire. He had stuffed walleye and I had scallops. It was superb in every way. Big ups to gerg for really showing me a great time.

When I was born, my brothers and sisters were running around in the backyard and whispering about what I would look like when I came home...they made some room for my baby picture on the wall above the piano...a wall bedecked with dozens of family portraits: I laid on my tummy with a crocheted blanket over my head. My brother, Mark, was so cute in his courdery suit! And Margaret's curls were so precious. And Mary looked just like the Gerber baby. Monica was too sweet and looked just like dad's baby picture. Dad wore a dress in his baby picture! How silly! (it was a christening gown, I learned latron) Mom's baby photo was a black and white, but it was colored over. She wore a pink bonnet. Michael was a dapper little boy with chubby cheeks. Matthew was mysterious to me; he died before I was born.

Where would I sleep? Who would share a room with me? (I was the 7th child in a 4 bedroom house.) What instrument would I play? French horn, like mom? Trombone, like dad? Would there be enough room in the family van for me?

I was brought to a white house in Wisconsin with green trim around the windows, a screened-in front porch and a backyard with a playhouse, sandbox, rain barrel, fruit trees, and a garden.

I never had a big wheel. I had a red tricycle that my dad painted purple when it became too rusty. It was a fast trike. I wore red tennis shoes with white rubber toes and white laces. I wore a blue and red striped cardigan sweater. My hair was blonde. My fingers were grubby.

I drove my siblings wild with my sobs each time my mom left us home. We'd eat popcorn and watch non-PBS shows! I learned quickly to stop tattling on them for being naughty. I got to ride along with them when they were teenagers to the Shopko and the grocery store. My dad carried me to bed over his shoulder at night, and I'd ring a chime by the door to let everyone know I was going to bed. Good night!

The List

Last night gerg was asking me if I had a list of stuff I wanted to accomplish in this life. I couldn't really answer at the time. As a generalist, I lack the ability or desire to focus and concentrate my efforts on one particular area, as opposed to specialists.

I've got a lot of dreams and many things I'd like to acheive.

Do I have a list? Not really. There are a few certain goals:
1. a kickass spouse and family (aka LOVE and support)
2. writing and publishing
3. learning new stuff
4. serving the public (ideally, in higher education)
5. fun times and relaxation

But part of me even hesitates to put it in writing...not because I'm afraid to commit to my goals, but because I seize opportunities. Would I pass up the opportunity to live on the moon? Prolly the same time, that might mean some of the above goals/dreams might not actualize.

And after watching my parents struggle with head-over-heel changes that sent them whirling, I've also learned that adaptation is crucial. The ability to adapt to a new lifestyle, a new environment, and/or a new culture is paramount. Balancing priorities and recognizing that I can't do everything that appeals to me has been a major challenge. I've mitigated that challenge by honing in on successful areas that appeal to me, enrich my life, along with enriching the lives of others; it's important to me that I share my time and talents with folks, especially the ones I love the most.

I know there are more dreams in my head than I'll ever be able to see to the end. I'm glad for the ones that have come true. Back when I was 13, I never thought so many of those girlish hopes would turn up for me. I've been amplified.