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Events The Walking Dead Things I Really Like Things that piss me off

Where Does The Walking Dead Go From Here?

October 24, 2016
Where Does The Walking Dead Go From Here?

After last night’s brutal episode, where does The Walking Dead go from here? SPOILER ALERT!!! If you haven’t watched the series premier of episode 7 and don’t know what happened, then hit the back button now and back away. This post is filled with predictions for where the show will go and also filled with spoilers about what has happened so far.

You’ve been warned.

Without a doubt, last night’s The Walking Dead was the most brutally disturbing episode yet. Of course, it had to be with all the hype that’d been built up over the last 6 months due to the cliffhanger nature of the ending of season 6.

For 6 months I wondered and worried if Glenn was actually going to die, like he did in the comics, or if the whole fake Glenn death under the dumpster somehow rendered him safe.

Nope.

I had hope, for a little while. I liked Glenn, he was the heart of the show. He was the plucky pizza delivery guy who was always willing to do what was necessary for the group, with little thought of his own safety.

Problem was, he didn’t do much else beyond that. As expendable main characters go, he was the best choice. He was the only choice.

It doesn’t hurt that he got the bat in the comic as well.

I have read the comics, up to episode 100, which is where we are now. I don’t plan on reading it anymore, prefering the show on only one possible timeline. When the book and the show diverge, like they did with the death of Abraham/Denise it’s too heartbreaking for me.

I loved Abraham, he was comic gold and was great at relieving the tension created by the stress of living in the zombie apocalypse. I suspect Negan will now wear that mantle, I’ll just have a difficult time laughing at his jokes. There’s not much relief in that. If one is to laugh along with the bad guy (though, to be fair, Negan does not see himself as the bad guy, and there’s actually some debate on that title. Rick and his group sort of had this coming), one risks identifying with that bad guy a little comfortably.

Abraham and Glenn will certainly be missed, but they had to go. The writers and producers had hyped the show for months, they could not kill off a secondary character such as Eugene or Sasha (my pick). The only other character they could have sacrificed and maintained the hype, would have been Daryl. Thankfully that didn’t happen, though the writers did throw him under the bus when they made him the cause of Glenn’s death.

Where Does The Walking Dead Go From Here?

Obviously, wherever the comic goes, and like I said, I’m not bothering to read it anymore. I do hope the show spends more time with the rebuilding rather than these constant upheavals. The show is so formulaic it’s surprising anyone watches. The characters settle in a seemingly safe place and then a bad guy comes along and destroys it allowing it to get overrun with walkers and the group must find another place. Lather, rinse, repeat.

I’m hopeful that they will remain in Alexandria after they successfully defeated all the walkers that descended when the Wolves attacked.

Negan is the Problem

I want to see the people of Alexandria, and other communities, work to bring civilization back. That is the interesting story to me. I don’t care about the endless bad guys they have to slay. I’m not even sure they’re believable.

How sustainable is it when Negan takes half of everything from these communities that are producing?

It won’t work, it can’t go on for very long because they won’t be able to produce enough resources for those who choose not to participate, as this image from conservative artist, Sabo illustrates.

Sabo poster about Negan and Hillary Clinton

Negan said he wasn’t going to plant a garden when someone else could do it for him.

Those sorts of regimes never last, and of course, we know it doesn’t last in this story either.

I love Jeffrey Dean Morgan, he’s hot as fuck, but Negan is a chore to get through, much like The Governor was. Of course, I am not the target audience for The Walking Dead, and I have no illusions that it will turn into a real character study about what happens when the shit hits the fan. For the most part, the writers shy away from those storylines. The few times they have have been the most interesting episodes, but probably not ratings generators.

I want to keep watching the show, I think about this show and its characters more than any other show I can recall. I have to remind myself that it is just a show. And yet I worry I will lose interest sooner than later.

As the scene unfolded last night, I watched through my hands. I have not been able to get the image of Abraham beaten to a pulp, lying lifeless on the ground out of my head. Same goes for the image of Glenn with one eye popped out (though I stopped watching and just listened after that). I felt the impact of those deaths just as surely as the characters who witnessed it.

Negan has a very fine line to walk

If Negan is too brutal and takes so much, what is the point?

When he was driving Rick around, trying to break him, I kept wondering why Rick kept fighting. I get it, he has Carl and Judith to protect. He’s recently let himself fall in love with Michonne and has that to go on for. Other characters, most of them, don’t have something like that to hold on to. Negan can get Rick to do things because he has leverage. For people like Sasha, Rosita, and eventually Tara when she learns about Denise, they’ll have to find a reason to go on in a world that is so incredibly brutal the title was indeed prophetic.

The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be

The title was taken from dialog from the final episode of the first season, when Dr Edwin Jenner provides a way out of the death trap that is the CDC.

He probably never imagined anyone like Negan and his Saviors.

I’m still traumatized by last night’s episode. I wish both characters were still with us and I am trying desperately to not lose hope in the writing of the show. We shall see.

Where do you think the story will go and where to you think it should go?

Events The Walking Dead

Who Does Negan Kill on The Walking Dead? (Spoilers)

October 21, 2016
The Walking Dead Season Six Finale

Who does Negan kill on The Walking Dead this Sunday? If you don’t want to know, then stop reading now.

I mean it, stop reading, go check out The Onion or rewatch the final presidential debate you can come back Sunday to see if I was right

This is your last warning.

***** Spoilers*****

Of course, I do not know for sure who Negan kills, but I have a pretty good guess based on the final scene from last season where we see the kill from the point of view of the victim.

Let me just say that I am still pissed off at the writers and producers for the Great Glenn Death Fake-out from last season. It was unnecessarily cruel to the fans and didn’t really advance the story at all.

Because of the Great Glenn Death Fake-out I believe/hoped, that Glenn would actually be spared when it came time to meet Negan.

I don’t believe that anymore.

Sorry, but I think Glenn still has to go.

And, I’m okay with it for the most part. I also don’t think he is the only one who gets to meet Lucille when season 7 begins this Sunday.

In fact, I think Glenn is the second death.

My gut tells me that Abraham is the one whose death we witnessed at the end of season 6.

Why do I think Abraham is the one who is killed by Negan and his bat, Lucille?

Abraham was getting pretty friendly with Sasha. He was looking forward to creating a life with her (that’s always a bad sign in the zombie apocalypse). He’s got a big mouth on him (one of the character’s best qualities) and that probably got Negan’s attention.

I also think it was Abraham in the end of season 6 because of the way the character attempted to straighten up again after the first blow. When Negan is doing the eenie, meanie, miney, moe deal he passes by Abraham and he straightens up, as if he is showing he is not afraid and maybe even volunteering.

I hate to see Abraham go, but his death was supposed to have already happened. In the comics he died by an arrow through the eye instead of Denise.

Sadly, I don’t think Abraham is the only death.

I love Abe, he’s the comic relief that this show desperately needs, but his character isn’t beloved enough to be worthy of all the hype they have tried to create with this 6 month long cliffhanger.

My guess is after Abraham dies either Rick or Daryl gets up and tries to attack Negan. Probably Daryl since Rick seems to be broken at the moment and Daryl has been on a rampage after Dwight. Negan doesn’t like this and pulls another unsuspecting person from the lineup, who just happens to be Glenn.

There really isn’t another character that would have as big of an impact as the death of Glenn.

He’s also not really imperative to the story.

In fact, as character deaths go, his is probably the easiest to deal with going forward.

The photos he saw when killing the unsuspecting Saviors was probably foreshadowing as they had all had their heads bashed in too. Remember, that was his first human kill.

They can’t or won’t kill off Rick and Carl is important to the Negan storyline. They could kill off Maggie and that would have a huge impact, especially since she is pregnant, but Maggie losing Glenn opens the story up for so much more than if Glenn had survived.

Up until this point, Carol’s transformation was the most interesting storyline in my opinion. Maggie has lost everyone, she’s either going to snap or get even stronger than she is. My bet is she gets as badass as Michonne, if not more so.

Who do you think Negan kills at the beginning of season 7 on The Walking Dead?

Events Kids Minnesota Reviews Things I Really Like

Pumpkin Nights Twin Cities

October 14, 2016
Pumpkin Nights Twin Cities

It’s getting spooky out there at the MN State Fairgrounds! Pumpkin Night Twin Cities has taken over the fairgrounds and it’s pretty spooktacular!! Actually, it’s not that spooky, which makes it perfect for the little ones (and their parents) who want to get into the Halloween spirit.

Haven’t heard of Pumpkin Nights before? You’re probably not alone. This is the first year I’ve heard of them, so what is Pumpkin Nights?

Pumpkin Nights, pig carved out of a pumpkin

Pumpkin Nights Twin Cities

Pumpkin Nights is a half-mile long path of over 3000 carved gourds! They folks who put it together created 12 different and amazing worlds made out of carved pumpkin. From local sensations like the Vikings and Prince to an under-the-sea world, a south-of-the-border retreat and some ghostly ghouls, there’s bound to be many favorites.

As you walk the path of pumpkins you can rock out to some great tunes, too!

Stop and get a family portrait taken and don’t forget the Tater Tots, Karmel Korn and mini Corndogs!

The Festival is open today through October 31st, 2016!

Sundays to Thursdays: 6:30pm – 10:30pm
Fridays & Saturdays: 6:30pm – Midnight

Pumpkin Nights

Enter on Como, just off of Snelling Avenue. You can park (for free!) right across the street.

1719 Como Avenue, Falcon Heights, MN 55108

Tickets can be purchased online or at the gate. Click here to buy your tickets online.

Get your costume ready! Carve yourself a pumpkin and bring it to the festival to be added to our Community Carving world. For every pumpkin you bring, they’ll donate $5 to Scares That Care.

Pumpkin Nights, Vikings logo carved into a pumpkin

This was a really fun outing for the kids. It’s dark, but it’s not scary. No one will jump out at you while you walk through the displays. The path is handicap accessible so wheelchairs and strollers will be just fine. Dogs are not allowed.

If you’re looking for some family friendly entertainment in St. Paul, come out to the Minnesota State Fairgrounds for this once a year spooktacular pumpkin fun!

Events Kids Things I Really Like

The Teal Pumpkin Project

October 10, 2016
The Teal Pumpkin Project

I’m so thrilled to learn about the Teal Pumpkin Project! About 5 years ago I learned my daughter had severe tree nut allergies. Overnight everything became a lot more difficult and the worry never ends. She carries both Benadryl and an Epi-Pen with her where ever she goes. She is also an ace at checking labels and asking if food has tree nuts in it or been prepared around equipment that has processed tree nuts.

We’ve been lucky, we’ve never had to use the Epi-Pen. For the most part, her tree nut allergies haven’t interfered in day to day life. I make a few adjustments when cooking and baking and that’s about it. We’re vigilant at festivals, fairs and other activities where food is prepared for us (and hyper vigilant  at some restaurants that don’t label ingredients as well as I would like), but otherwise the only time of year it really sucks for her is Halloween.

Thankfully there’s the Teal Pumpkin Project! Click here to learn more.

As a result, Halloween can be extra scary if your child has a food allergy. Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) came up with the Teal Pumpkin Project to create a safer Halloween for kids who have food allergies. If you put a teal pumpkin at your door it means you’re giving away non food items to your trick or treaters.

The Teal Pumpkin Project

FARE’s Teal Pumpkin Project® is a worldwide movement to create a safer, happier Halloween for all kids. Putting a teal pumpkin on your doorstep means you have non-food treats available, such as glow sticks or small toys. This simple act promotes inclusion for trick-or-treaters with food allergies or other conditions.

How to Take Part

  • Provide non-food treats for trick-or-treaters
  • Place a teal pumpkin in front of your home to indicate to passersby that you have non-food treats available
  • Display a free printable sign or premium poster from FARE to explain the meaning of your teal pumpkin

Support the Project

Do you want to help spread the Teal Pumpkin Project’s messages of a safer, happier Halloween for all? You can support FARE and the Teal Pumpkin Project in a variety of ways:

Spread the Word

Enter your teal pumpkin in our contest by using #tealpumpkincontest and tagging us @FoodAllergy on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.

Events politics The Walking Dead Things that piss me off

The Anticipation is Killing Me!

October 5, 2016
The anticipation is killing me

The anticipation is killing me. I’m not even sure that’s the right word, but I simply can’t wait much longer to find out who will win this election. Sure, I’m almost 100% certain it will be Hillary Clinton, but by the way the internet is acting (and her surrogates and the media are overreacting) one might get the impression the race is a lot closer than it really is.

Each day there’s something different – Hillary is sick, Trump says something horribly offensive to everyone. The email scandal becomes the news, for a few days at least, with each email dump from Wikileaks, Trump’s old tax returns are dug up. Pay to play, Trump Foundation, Parkinson’s, small hands, immunity, bankruptcy, Benghazi, Russia… the lists go on and on (you can see both of their scandal sheets here and here.

The thing is, nothing ever sticks to either one of them, they never have to explain anything, we all just forget about the last scandal as soon as the next one becomes breaking news. Both of them are deplorable.

The Anticipation is Killing Me!

I notice that one of them pulls ahead in the polls after a debate or news dump and I think to myself “great, there’s no way they can win the election after this”. I’m happy for a few minutes and then I realize that means the other one will win, and then I’m nervous again.

This election, especially the last few months of it, has been just like waiting for find out who Negan killed in the last episode of season 6 on The Walking Dead.

I’ve spent months trying to discern who it is that met his or her bloody death at the end of Lucille*. I’ve read numerous blogs, watched the show over and over, and I’ve even started hanging out in forums to see if I can’t read the room. Certainly there must be some indication somewhere of what’s to come?

Except there probably isn’t. The writers fucked with us all season 6, even faked Glenn’s death once, presumably so they could kill him again at the end of the season**. For all we know, they haven’t even shot the scene where the victim is revealed yet.

And just like the election, it doesn’t matter who. Whoever it is, it’s going to suck.

*Lucille is a baseball bat used by Negan, the baddest of bad guys in The Walking Dead, who wrapped it in barbed wire and likes to bash people to pulp with it to prove who’s in charge.

**I’m not really sure why I thought that one needed a footnote, anyway, I’ve forgotten it now.

Events Things I Really Like

Apple Upgrades the Apple Watch, iPhone 7

September 7, 2016
Apple upgrades Apple Watch iphone7

I’ve had an iPhone for years, I’ve had an Apple Watch for about a year. I love it, but it has some limitations. The good news is Apple upgrades the Apple Watch, iPhone 7. The big news is Apple Watch is now waterproof, though they are calling it water resistant to 50 meters. Whatever, it means I can now swim with it on, more importantly I can have the calorie count included in my daily activity.

In addition to being waterproof, the Apple Watch has included an emergency 911 feature in the event you need to call 911 . Because the Apple Watch has a GPS in it now, you can call 911 without your phone and the service will know exactly where you are.

They’ve included some new features to the software and the processing is 50% faster, but I haven’t heard if the Health app will play with MyFitness Pal or FitBit. I’m waiting for this feature, without it I am forced to wear a Fitbit so I can compete in challenges. I don’t understand why they choose not to make them compatible.

iPhone 7 looks completely different. It’s sleeker, also waterproof, and has a new camera – stabiliazation, editing, wide color… 7mp FaceTime HD Camera on the front, 12 mp camera on the back. It’s “the best camera we’ve ever made”. The iPhone 7 Plus has two cameras, one is a telephoto, the other is a more standard camera. Now includes a shallow depth of field feature (crisp sharp image with blurred background). It’s complicated, but actually pretty cool how they’ve done it. Smart Phone photography just got a whole lot better, and easier. I won’t have to carry around my DSLR for simple gigs anymore.

Stereo speakers have been added to the iPhone 7.

Earphones now work over the Lightening connector. An adaptor will be included for the analog headphone jack.

Air Pods, wireless earphones.

Apple Airpods

Small, pair easily, 24 hours of listening, connects to any Apple device like MacBook, iMac, MacBook Pro, Apple Watch, iPad, etc… They can be used as a pair or just one.

Mario comes to iPhone. Coming soon Nintendo’s Mario Run will be a game app on the iPhone. Pokemon Go can also be played on the Apple Watch.

Events Minnesota politics Things that piss me off WTF?

Summer in Minnesota 2016: We Lost Prince and Found Jacob

September 5, 2016
We Lost Prince and Found Jacob

They say this decade, the 2010s, has been pretty crappy for those who came of age during the 80s, we’ve lost so many of our icons. If that’s true, then this summer has truly epitomized that sentiment, especially for Minnesotans.

This Summer We Lost Prince and Found Jacob

Summer 2016 has been a roller coaster ride. While not officially summer, it was warm (and that’s close enough for those of us who spend 6 months of the year shoveling snow and enduring temperatures below freezing) when we learned that Prince had died of an opioid overdose, alone, at Paisley Park. It was a horribly senseless and tragic death. Wasteful. So much talent wasted due to addiction. That he was trying to get help when it happened made it even more tragic. We mourned, with the rest of the nation, for all the gifts he gave us. We sang and we danced, and we grieved.

(from Wikipedia)

(from Wikipedia)

Many superstars have passed during my lifetime, some of the biggest in recent memory including Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson, but none seemed to sting as badly as the loss of Prince. While the rest of the nation, and world for that matter, moved on, in Minnesota we continued to honor Prince with tribute concerts and celebrations. On August 26th, we celebrated Unite in Purple at the Minnesota State Fair, a night of music, dance and fireworks to celebrate the life of a legend. A few days later The Revolution gathered one more time at First Avenue to pay tribute to Prince.

This summer our presidential election was in full swing. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump raced to the bottom of the election. They have both lowered the bar to unimaginable depths. It’s a sad state of things when you have to choose the lesser of two evils, you’re still choosing evil. God help us come November.

Two days after we celebrated the birth of our nation Philando Castille was shot by a police officer during a traffic stop that was anything but routine. The aftermath was posted live on Facebook by his girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, as her daughter tried to comfort her from the back seat. Protests, mostly peaceful, led the news this summer. Traffic was shut down on I-94 and in front of the Governor’s residence on Summit Avenue as people tried to change the world.

justice for Philando

(Jennifer Brown)

Ironically, it was a video game that got all of us outside this summer. Pokémon Go got the kids, and adults out from in front of their computer screens and into the streets looking for digital monsters. It has been decades since neighborhoods had been filled with kids outside playing. It was wonderful, and poignant.

Labor Day weekend we learned that Jacob had been found. Jacob Wetterling had gone missing 27 years ago.  A parent’s worst nightmare, he was abducted at gun point while riding bikes with his brother and a friend October 22nd, 1989. Jacob was one of the reasons kids didn’t play outside anymore. If a kid could go missing in America’s heartland, no place was safe. We kept our kids close.

We’d gotten our hopes up many times in the last 27 years, so many of us were skeptical that he had really been found. Sadly, within hours his mother, Patty Wetterling, confirmed what we had feared all these years.

(National Center for Missing and Exploited Children)

(National Center for Missing and Exploited Children)

“Our hearts are broken, we have no words.”

There’s a chill in the air, winter is coming.

Events Minnesota Music People Things I Really Like Things that piss me off

On the Passing of Prince – From a Minnesotan

April 23, 2016
Death of Prince I35W Bridge Purple

I was in the car with my daughter Thursday morning when we heard the news that Prince had died. We were going to Ikea, driving along 494 through Burnsville, Mn. My daughter is in charge of the radio while we drive and had just switched from satellite radio to a local station, Cities 97 if you’re wondering, when we caught the tail end of the DJ talking about how someone had died. You could hear she was holding back tears. I said to my daughter “the only death that could bring a Minnesota DJ to tears is Prince”, but that seemed unthinkable.

(For an in depth read, from another Minnesotan, about the music, the style, the talent of Prince, click here)

My daughter grabbed my phone out of my purse to see who it was. She didn’t even have to open the phone, it was right there on the lock screen.

Prince dies at 57.

I was pulling off the exit towards Ikea at this point, but was so distracted that I missed the exit and continued on to the Mall of America. While stuck at a light I tried to search through my phone for any details, but got shut down by my daughter. Already, a digital billboard had a tribute to Prince.

It was real.

We continued on to Ikea, the daughter wants to update her bedroom and needed a few items. My heart was no longer in it, and neither was hers. My daughter was upset too. No surprise really, she grew up being embarrassed by me dancing and singing to all the Prince tunes. When David Bowie died earlier this year she wasn’t the least bit interested in listening to his music with me. She didn’t want to listen to me go on and on about how cool he was and how experimental his music was. But then Bowie wasn’t a Minnesotan.

As we walked through the parking garage we could hear other groups talking about his death.

My son was now texting me about Prince’s death.

How could he be gone (I can’t type dead, it’s too final)?

I’d first heard of Prince when I was 13 or 14 from my friend Stella. She’d heard I Want to be Your Lover on the radio and had to get the album. Stella, Stephanie and I listened to Prince after school each day. Stella sang that song ALL.THE.TIME.

The music was amazing, the album cover was titillating with his bare chest, flowing hair and intense stare, and that he was from Minneapolis made him incredibly real. For a 13 year old it was a little unsettling and exciting at the same time.

And thus began the soundtrack of my younger years.

I just can’t believe
All the things people say, controversy
Am I black or white?
Am I straight or gay? Controversy

My dad was gay, closeted and married to my mother who discussed their issues with me,  while he was out at the Townhouse bar on University Avenue. I was terrified people would find out about my dad (even though they all knew, I just didn’t know they knew) so would much rather have people discussing Prince’s sexuality than my fathers.

We don’t care
It’s all about being there
Everybody’s going Uptown
That’s where I wanna be
Uptown

When we were a few years older we’d go to First Avenue to catch of glimpse of Prince on stage or the dance floor or just on his way to the bathroom. If you’re a Minnesotan, you have a story of literally bumping into Prince at one time or another. He didn’t hide away in some ivory tower, he was part of the party.

My high school years were challenging, for a variety of reasons I went to three different high schools and was forced to spend my senior year at a new school. I went to St. Paul Central that year, a large inner city school with a population four times what I was used to. Prince’s discography played at every single school event, after event party and was constantly playing on the Walkmans all the kids were wearing. Sometimes Michael Jackson played.

Let’s pretend we’re married and go all night
There ain’t nothin’ wrong if it feels all right
I won’t stop until the morning light
Let’s pretend we’re married and go all night, tonight

Prince was playing when I had sex for the first time (though it did not go all night), and many times after as I am sure is the case for most people my age. It was the most sexually explicit music available and yet it didn’t seem dirty. Okay, it was really dirty, but in a damn good way.

‘Cause in this life
Things are much harder than in the after world
In this life
You’re on your own

That summer, 1984, Purple Rain was released. If you know me, or have read my older posts, you know how I struggled through those years due to my dad’s closeted lifestyle and the affect it had on my mother who had been disabled years earlier. Prince helped me through those years. When the movie was released soon after and we got a glimpse into his early years I knew he understood all that I was dealing with. And, as I Minnesotan, we all knew he was goofing with Apollonia when he tricked her into jumping into the Mississippi river.

What’s the matter with your life
Is the poverty bringing U down?
Is the mailman jerking U ’round?
Did he put your million dollar check
In someone else’s box?

My first apartment – my roommate and I tried to drown out the relentless Bruce Springsteen that was played downstairs, with Prince music.

“Oh, I got a live one here!”
Get the funk up!
BATMAN

On our first date my ex husband and I saw the movie Batman at the Grandview theater on its opening night. The packed house erupted when Prince’s credit filled the screen.

If I gave you diamonds and pearls
Would you be a happy boy or a girl
If I could I would give you the world
But all I can do is just offer you my love

We married that fall.

It was my ex husband’s decision to bring his girlfriend to Paisley Park for one of Prince’s more intimate concerts that made me realize the marriage couldn’t be saved. While he was dancing to Prince with some 21 year old I was in the hospital with our infant son who was dehydrated from an ear infection.

When I found a necklace with Prince’s symbol on it, a souvenir from the show, next to our bed, I knew it was time to move on. I would have liked to blame Prince, but that would have been foolish. Our marriage ended when our daughter died a year earlier. Not unlike the way Prince’s marriage ended to Mayte Garcia shortly after their son died of a similar malady.

I’m not a human
I am a dove
I’m your conscious
I am love
All I really need is to know that
U believe

Yeah, I would die 4 U, yeah
Darling if you want me to
U, I would die 4 U

Life moved on and Prince continued to churn out album after album. 39 in total. Prince was texting decades before it became a thing. I only knew one person who didn’t like Prince’s music and I think that was because his music was so raw it could be scary if you weren’t willing to just fall into and let it take you wherever it was going.

We live in a global world now, because of the internet I have friends who live all around the world. When Prince died I got text messages from people asking if I was okay. I was not  a super fan, but I was a fellow Minnesotan and it stung just slightly more, I think, that one of our own left this world. A Minnesota friend who has lived in NY for decades learned of his death before me and was afraid to mention it to me on Facebook, preferring not to be the bearer of bad news.

I visited my mother in the nursing home on Friday. Mom has been delusional for some time and it was nice to see that Prince had worked his way so quickly into her delusions, I spent half an hour listening to her tell me how he and my father were more than just friends.

Let’s go crazy
Let’s get nuts
Let’s look for the purple banana
‘Til they put us in the truck, let’s go!

Minnesota has been awash in Purple since his death. The I35 bridge bathes in purple light during the night. First Avenue is alive with all night dance parties to celebrate his life and gates of Paisley Park are festooned with purple mylar balloons and flowers. It is spring here in Minnesota, early because of El Niño. This week all the azaleas bloomed. Drive down Summit Avenue, Highland Parkway or along Mississippi River Boulevard and you can’t help but see all the purple flowers blooming — seemingly for Prince.

Honey, I know, I know
I know times are changing
It’s time we all reach out
For something new, that means you too

You say you want a leader
But you can’t seem to make up your mind
I think you better close it
And let me guide you to the purple rain

Prince Purple Rain

Events Kids

THE ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE Bird Island Experience at Mall of America

March 24, 2016
Angry Birds at Mall of America

Where: Mall of America Rotunda

When: Saturday, April 2, 11am–5pm

The Angry Birds Movie will take over the Rotunda at Mall of America® for the Bird Island Experience, featuring a Digital Arcade, Nest and Relaxation Lounge, power bungee jump, face painting, photo booth, crafts and more!

Test your Angry Birds digital gaming skills at the Digital Gaming Arcade!

Relax and manage your stress with massages, relaxation tips and Zen tea samplings from Teavanna in our Nest and Relaxation Lounge.

Take midafternoon snack break at the Hanger Management Stand with sweet treats from Doc Popcorn, Nestle Tollhouse and Peeps.

Participate in The Angry Birds Movie Egg Hunt and locate the Red Bird Ticket for your chance to win a trip to The Angry Birds Movie Premiere in Los Angeles!

https://www.mallofamerica.com/events/view/1436

Don’t miss this once in lifetime EGGSperience!

#AngryBirdsMovie

THE ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE: IN THEATERS MAY 20

Events Winter

Preparing for a Snowstorm like Snowstorm Goliath

December 28, 2015

If you’re from the Midwest or North Eastern parts of the country you probably know how to prepare for a snowstorm. We’ve been hearing about Snowstorm Goliath for the last week now and let’s hope it isn’t a bust because at this point most people have stocked their shelves with extra bread, milk, eggs and booze.

Thankfully it’s winter break or many of us would have the added inconvenience of entertaining the kids when school is canceled.

If snowstorm Goliath is as big as they say it will be we can expect up to 10 inches of snow by Tuesday morning. This will be the first significant snowfall this winter (and winter starts in Minnesota right after Halloween so this is a big deal).

I don’t give much thought to these huge snowstorms because I was raised in the Midwest, I work from home, school isn’t that far from the house and I keep a pretty well stocked pantry and liquor cabinet. However, if you aren’t native to the states that get a fair amount of snow each year you might be experiencing your first major winter storm and may not know how to prepare for it. So what can you do?

  1. Make sure you have a decent shovel and if possible invest in a snow blower. If you can’t find one or it’s out of your budget find a local neighbor kid who wants to make a little extra money. Shoveling snow can be dangerous for the older folks if it’s heavy. Don’t overdo it.
  2. Prepare your vehicle. If you don’t have to drive don’t but if you do make sure you have a winter survival kit in your trunk. Include a blanket, bottled water (or ice if you live in the tundra), snacks like granola bars or protein bars (something non perishable) or nuts, a flashlight, lighter or matches, flare gun etc. Stay in your car, don’t get out to search for help. It’s much easier to find a car than it is to find a person in the snow.
  3. Booze up – You don’t need to get soused but after being shut in with the kids for a day or two you might want to take the edge off just a little. If weed is legal in your part of the country blaze up!
  4. Get your game on – Dig out the board games and fire up the fondue! Keep everyone entertained with a rousing game of Monopoly or Pictionary.
Events Reviews

Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Spoiler Free Review for non Fanatics

December 16, 2015

Honest, spoiler free review of Star Wars: The Force Awakens from a non fan.

I was very privileged to be given an opportunity to see the newest Star Wars movie on Tuesday, a couple of days before the official premier. Star Wars: The Force Awakens is the talked about movie event of the year. People have been lining up for weeks to be first in line to see the latest in the Star Wars series.

Unlike those lining up and camping out for days to see the movie, and also unlike most everyone else on the planet, I have not seen the other Star Wars movies so I went into The Force Awakens with no preconceived ideas about what to expect (except that I expected it to be pretty good since JJ Abrams was at the wheel this time around.

How is it that I could be an 11 year old when the first Star Wars was released and not actually see the franchise? Good question, and one I’ve been answering a lot lately. I don’t know. I saw other movies that year including The Goodbye Girl, Airport ’77, The Deep, Oh, God!, Heroes, Saturday Night Fever and High Anxiety. I also figured Star Wars was a boy’s movie. My brother and his friends saw it repeatedly and talked about it all the time so if my brother loved it, I probably wouldn’t – was my thinking back then. When the sequels came out I hadn’t seen the original so didn’t bother to see them. Sure, I’ve seen bits and pieces of them over the years and I have a pretty general idea what they are about, I just hadn’t seen them from start to finish.

The viewing experience was minimal at best –  11am on a Tuesday, no pop, no popcorn, no Jujubes. Thankfully the theater that I, four other women and about 45 men saw it in was directly across from the restrooms.

We were not allowed to have our phones in the theater with us and any bags were searched and we all got the metal detecting wand as we entered the theater. I was okay about this given other movie openings.

I wasn’t sure I’d be able to follow the story from the beginning, I figured there’d be a learning curve, but thankfully the opening credits of the movie, the part with the words scrolling through the galaxy to John Williams amazing orchestral piece, gave a pretty decent synopsis of what had taken place in the story so far.

Basically the story is about finding Luke Skywalker. There are a few new characters and many of the old ones everyone loves so much. It is the new characters – Finn, Poe, Rey and BB8 – that really move the story along. Daisy Ridley, who plays Rey, is captivating.

I was hoping to review Star Wars: The Force Awakens as a stand alone movie but it really isn’t. Don’t get me wrong, it was fun, filled with humor, romance, excitement and surprises, it just would have made a lot more sense if I had seen episodes 4, 5 and 6 of the series (or 1,2 and 3 for those of who remember when the first one was just called Star Wars). Because the movie is the first in the final trilogy of the Star Wars franchise it ended as such. Not really a cliff hanger, just the place where it made the most sense to end a movie that already has two sequels.

I’m not complaining, I’m looking forward to seeing the next two (really more interested in seeing the first three) movies it’s just that this one ended not unlike the first part of episode three of The Hunger Games ended. With more of a whimper, not a bang. It was slightly unsatisfying.

The first Star Wars movie (Star Wars Episode IV – A New Hope) may have been conceived as three trilogies but when it was made they didn’t know if it would be successful enough to have a sequel. The movie ended when that part of the story ended. Everyone wanted more but it could have stood on it’s own. The story was told. I didn’t get that feeling here.

It was entertaining, funny, and exciting but it wasn’t groundbreaking. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I’d give it a solid B. If you’re a fan, you’re going to love it no matter what. You many not see it 100 times like you did the original Star Wars but you won’t be disappointed.

I’ve seen many movies with my 12 year old daughter this year. From Paul Blart Mall Cop 2 to Minions to the final Hunger Games movie. Most of the time when the movie is over, before the credits start to roll, people get up to leave. A few of the movie we saw this past summer – Jurassic World and Terminator Genysis people not only stayed for the credits but they also clapped when the movie ended.

No one clapped when Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and no one bothered to stick around for the credits.

Is it worth seeing? Yes, absolutely.  It just probably won’t live up to expectations.