Saturday P365

Saturday was frickin’ freezing cold, but the Powderhorn365 waits for no weather. I took my camera and my bundled up butt for a short walk through the neighborhood. The tennis courts near my house have been closed for months, but the snow in the courts has been thoroughly trampled. Anyone fancy a game of winter tennis on a snow court? New Olympic sport, perhaps?

Four tennis nets run diagonally across the photo. Heavily traversed snow is visible on both sides of the nets. Dark green conifers are in the background, along with some thick bare tree trunks.

Powderhorn365 – It begins!

I’ve recently become involved with a neighborhood photography project called Powderhorn365.  I had been looking for ways to get involved in my new neighborhood and this seemed right up my alley. I started attending monthly P365 committee meeting and submitted a few photos for days on which substitute photographers were needed. Last fall I put in an application to become one of the seven weekly photographers – and I was accepted! My 2016 term started two weeks ago, and I’ve decided to cross-post those publications here.

Powderhorn 365’s Mission: “Through the lenses of volunteer photographers, Powderhorn365 tells the daily stories of the Powderhorn Park neighborhood: making people and places visible, documenting history and celebrating life. Powderhorn365 produces a visual, community-written narrative through photo postings, photobooks and exhibits.”

Some of my 2015 P365 photos are here.

January 2nd

Indoors - a bright orange wall dominates the background of the photo, and we are looking at the corner of a large room. An window-like opening in the wall peers up into a second story studio. Large framed art covers both walls. A woman stands behind the counter, a man leans against the front of the counter. Both are looking at the camera with smiles. A water dispenser and shovels are in the background.Twilight Tattoo – A proprietor and customer at Twilight Tatoo take a moment away from business to smile for Powderhorn365. Twilight Tattoo is on Cedar between Lake and 31st Street.

January 9th

Two men in warm clothing smiling broadly at the camera. The man in the back has his arms thrown wide. In the background, bar trees and white snow is visible.

Winter Walking Revels – My partner and I went walking along the south side of Powderhorn Park in search of today’s photograph. We ran into these two at 35th St. and 12th Ave, and they were happy to strike a pose for Powderhorn365.

P365 is also distributed on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Still Boycotting the Mall of America

I’m one of those silly Minnesotans who actually enjoys the Mall of America. I like the big indoor amusement park, I like the over-priced special exhibitions (the Star Trek exhibit was cool!). I like the indoor walking and people watching and window shopping and the Sea Life aquarium and the Mirror Maze and the giant Lego store. I like the visiting the shops that you don’t see anywhere else in this area, like the Peeps store and Paciugo Gelato.

But I did not like (ah, understatement) how the Mall of America responded to the nonviolent act of civil disobedience that took place in their rotunda on December 20th of this past year.

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Local Lefty Liberal Progressive Hippie Things

I have two reading recommendations and one restaurant review for you from the land of spoon and cherry.

Robin Marty – Joining the Other Side

Robin Marty is an independent journalist, well-known for her articles on reproductive justice. She is based in Minnesota, the author of Crow After Roe, and she has recently published an article on Contributoria called Joining the Other Side. The article is about the week she spent in Washington D.C. this January observing the annual March for Life…ugh…celebration. She speaks about watching die-ins, clinic protests, panels and sharing drinks with anti-abortion activists like Jill Stanek and Troy Newman at after parties.  [Read more…]

Bugs in the City

NOTE: The Smithsonian is crowdsourcing! Read all the way (or skip) to the bottom to learn how to become an online volunteer for the Smithsonian Museum’s bumblebee records project!

One thing that is extremely noticeable about our new location is the increase in the number of bugs inside the house. In South Minneapolis we had the occasional ant attack, and once some demon flies infested the apartment after I downloaded a desktop wallpaper, but here it seems that there are more and greater varieties of insect home invaders than we experienced in the city. It makes sense; our new house is in a more wooded area, and we now have a direct entry to the house rather than an apartment lobby entry. But what can you do? Once we got over our initial revulsion it just became a fact of life. Bought a fly swatter and it’s all good now. The cat is ecstatic to be able to put her long-dormant hunting skills back into play.

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Planned Parenthood Solidarity Event

It’s that time of the year again! Good Friday marks the annual organized anti-Planned Parenthood vigil here in the Twin Cities and it’s celebrated with much somber walking, very pray, so clutching of rosaries and wow crosses outside of the St. Paul Planned Parenthood:

Anti-choice crowd hangs out by the fence and stares at the prochoice celebration with sadness, contempt, anger and pleading.

Anti-choice crowds line the fence and stare over at the pro-Planned Parenthood celebration with a mixture of anger, contempt, pleading, sorrow, curiosity and indifference.

And on the other side – a celebration of accessible and legal abortion, comprehensive reproductive options, sex education and outreach:

A line of Planned Parenthood supporters walking with signs of support.

This year a bunch of jerks – not satisfied with marching with their anti-choice brethren – decided to make a nuisance of themselves on “our” side of the rally. As always with these harassers, they’re not satisfied unless they’re edged right up to the public property line, which was particularly annoying because they were standing between us and our food trucks. Buttheads. These special friends had a penchant for screaming about hellfire and damnation. For the most part we all minded our manners, but me, Niki and our friend Chris couldn’t resist stopping for a quick photo op:

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 Happy atheist trio mocks your angry sky fairy – Mwuahahaha!

We had happy music, warm drinks and supportive signs. We took pictures and laughed and raised money and cheered and ran to give hugs when we saw friends and supporters arrive to join in the march. It was a great time.

Me and fellow clinic escort Niki M. in our clinic escort vests.

Me and fellow clinic escort Niki take a photo at the march in our vests – shiny!

Happy Lich Jesus Day, everyone!

The North Shore Trip

This past weekend the Hubby and I drove up to the North Shore, and we ended up cramming in a lot of activities. On Friday I had to work a half day, and that afternoon before we left the Cities, we took in the Minnesota History Center’s Prohibition exhibit. I did some museum tweeting, which you can see on Storify by clicking the image below. 

storifyprohibition

Then we drove 2.5 hours north on Highway 35 to Superior, Wisconsin, which is right across the river from Duluth, Minnesota. We checked into our hotel and I was ready to crash, but we somehow managed to drag our butts out to see The Monuments Men. It was awesome and totally worth the putting on of pants. [Read more…]

Winter Storm Seneca Blows Through

Last night I participated on panel about Women In Secularism for Campus Atheists Humanists and Skeptics at the University of Minnesota. My fellow panelists were Stephanie Zvan, Niki Massey – who did a guest post for Biodork a few months ago – and Chelsea Du Fresne. It was awesome – there were a lot of thoughtful questions from the (mostly male) audience. We had a chance to talk about microaggressions, how to build and support diversity in organizations, and how to recognize when you might be dealing with an MRA.

The snow had started to fall at about 1pm yesterday afternoon. The snowflakes were big and fluffy and full of water – perfect snowman snow! When we left the panel at about 10pm, we had acquired several inches of snow. But this is Minnesota and the plows were on high alert; many of the major roads had been cleared at least once.

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